- We have a full time retina specialist working with us. There are two visiting retina specialists willing to come in when required on a monthly basis. As such, there is no other eye care provider in the area. A population of about 20 lacs around the place is in need of eye care services. When there are no general ophthalmologists available, there is no question of sub specialty consultants being available. In fact, there are no sub specialty consultants in NGO sector even in Surat. All the sub specialty consultants are in private set up. All patients can’t afford the cost of treatment at private set up. So, even these non affording class of patients are eventually get referred to us. The retinal surgery is a costly affair and less rewarding as far as visual outcome is concerned. That is why poor and middle class patients are finding it difficult to go to private set up.
- We already have the fundus camera for doing angiography and green laser for the laser applications for diabetic retinopathy patients. Kakrapar Atomic Power Station have provided retina surgical equipments under their CSR project.
- As there are no retina surgical facility in the south Gujarat where the surgical work is done either free or on a heavily subsidized rate, the patients are coming to us in big number. We are doing almost 30 major retina surgeries every month. We have trained one of our senior Ophthalmic assistants to take care of the angiography so that the surgeon’s time can be saved.
Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Camps:
- The awareness about diabetic retinopathy OR for that matter what diabetes can do to the eye and other organs of the body is missing completely. Patients even after coming to know that they have diabetes, don’t take the necessary drug properly. A lot of work needs to be done to increase the awareness about diabetic retinopathy. We can conduct diagnostic eye camps to detect retinopathy in diabetic patients. These camps can serve as a tool to spread the awareness also. Just the way, we conduct cataract screening camps, diabetic retinopathy screening camps can be organized. All the patients having diabetes can undergo a dilated fundus examination and all those with retinopathy can be referred to the base hospital for further investigation and treatment. We can easily conduct such camps once in a month in our service area.
- We are in the process of creating health education material viz. pamphlets and video to educate the people and these will be done in vernacular. We will distribute pamphlets and show the video to the patients who will come for examination at the campsite.
- Angiography and Laser treatment are done at the base hospital for all the needy patients. Laboratory back up is also available and other diagnostic equipments including OCT are available at the base hospital.
- As this retina treatment is costly & we end up doing it free of cost for the poor patients and at heavily subsidized rate for lower middle class patients, we need good amount of funds for this activity.