The eye clinic run by the Mylapore Academy received an autorefractometer from the Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation on Thursday.

The equipment was formally commissioned by S. Balasubramanyam, Director of the Foundation. The equipment, used for diagnosing refractive errors, would enable the clinic to perform the tests faster and serve more patients, said T.R. Swaminathan, former deputy superintendent, Government Ophthalmic Hospital.

“The machine will help diagnose 10 patients in an hour and is especially helpful in treating the uncooperative, senile, the elderly and children,” he said. The machine, costing Rs.2.75 lakh, has been imported from Japan.

An optometrist visits the clinic twice a week and checks about a dozen patients. Presence of foreign bodies would be detected easily enabling them to refer the patients for further treatment, he added.

Chairman of the Academy V. Vaidhyanathan said the Academy, in 57 years of its existence has been providing free medical service to residents in and around Mylapore. Every day around 100 patients visit the clinic, which also offers treatment for other ailments, and medicines are also provided free of cost. Patients who need further treatment are given a recommendation letter to help them seek treatment at a better equipped hospital, he said. “As chairman of Sankara Nethralaya, I assure you that any case referred by The Mylapore Academy for further eye treatment would be taken up at Sankara Nethralaya,” he told the gathering.

Mylapore MLA S.Ve. Shekher said he had been associated with the Academy since 1974. The government's duty is to create confidence in its hospitals and schools. It is because of lack of confidence that people seek private hospitals for treatment, he said.

Office-bearers of the Academy, including C.S. Veeraraghavan and V. Krishnan participated. The Academy's staff members and doctors were felicitated for their work. Earlier a minute's silence was observed in memory of industrialist A.Sivasailam, who served as a director of Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation.