Madurai

Queen recognises Aravind Eye Care System’s initiative

Aravind Eye Care Systems N. Venkatesh Prajna with Queen Elizabeth in England.

Aravind Eye Care Systems N. Venkatesh Prajna with Queen Elizabeth in England.   | Photo Credit: ma12Aravind Eye Care

Aravind Eye Care System’s contribution to eradicating needless blindness in Commonwealth countries was recognised by Buckingham Palace and it earned its Director (Medical Education) N. Venkatesh Prajna an audience with the Queen.

The ophthalmologist, who visited the country in October, said that the meeting was a special moment as the Queen spent around one hour in the company of 42 opthalmologists from around the globe. The hospital was involved in training doctors, nurses and staff from the Commonwealth as part of a five-year programme to establish the Commonwealth Eye Health Consortium with a funding of US $ 13.5 million from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust (QEDJT).

Dr. Prajna said that he was part of the steering committee which decided the usage of the funds during the five-year programme. “I was given a month’s notice prior to meeting the Queen. It came as a pleasant surprise since we assumed that the five-year high impact programme had been completed. It felt like I was representing India,” he said.

As part of the programme, they trained 140 persons from 19 countries. “The Queen said she hoped that the programme helped the poor and downtrodden,” he said.

He added that Aravind Eye Hospital had applied for a large grant with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “We share training, best practices and manpower. This is what makes the country a star in this field,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 2:13:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/queen-recognises-aravind-eye-care-systems-initiative/article29947275.ece

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