Appreciating the focussed training for the ophthalmologists under the ‘Sight First' programme at the LAICO (Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology) here, various speakers called for further enhancement of performance and improve efficiency in the eye care system.

A workshop on ‘Vision building and strategic planning' was organised at the LAICO here on Thursday.

Lions Clubs International Federation chairperson Sid. L. Scruggs, who was the chief guest, said that as the technology enhanced, the globe had become small. Administrators at eye hospitals should improve their efficiency levels.

The doctors, for their part, should make use of such training programmes as it would make them much more efficient in handling the patients with ease.

Ultimately, the needy should benefit is the objective of the Lions Clubs across the world.

Presenting a background about the LAICO since its inception, the LAICO executive director R.D. Thulasiraj said that through the Sight First programme, cataract surgeries had improved manifold. There are 278 hospitals from 27 countries and 127 among them were Lions Hospitals supported by LAICO, which apart from giving training, was also involved in the XI Five-Year plan exercise. The aim of giving such training to the participants should ultimately take it from cataract centric approach to comprehensive eye care centres.

In his address, Sight First Chief Technical Advisor Chandrashekar Shetty said that the future plans of LAICO should be capacity building and sustained training. From cataract orientation, it should be management of diabetic retinopathy and child blindness. Data collection in these areas from across the nation would help face the challenges ahead for the ophthalmologists.

Past International Director Bishnu Bagoria recalled a success story of how the doctors at a hospital, after undergoing training at LAICO under the Sight First programme, were able to perform over 4000 surgeries from a meagre 600.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Lion. N.A.K. Gopalakrishna Raja traced the inception of LAICO and the lofty ideas about the need for taking eye care for the needy in rural pockets. Aravind Eye Hospitals chairman Namperumalsamy and among others participated. Later, Mr. Scruggs handed over the certificates to the participants.

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