Programs at Srikiran
Community Outreach Program
Instead of taking a passive stance and waiting for patients that may not come, Srikiran has adopted the unique approach of taking its services to the doorsteps of people in need. By going to rural and remote areas, this unique program works closely with local community leaders and service groups to organize free eye screening clinics. Several hundred patients can be screened in a single day, whereas before they might not have even received care.
Some highlights of the program, all provided free of charge, are as follows:
- Providing eye care to the poor.
- Organizing eye screening clinics three days in a week.
- Providing transportation to the base hospital if surgery is required.
- Providing intraocular lens implant.
- Providing food, accommodation and medicines.
- Providing transportation for three post–operative follow–up visits.
- Providing corrective glasses if required after six weeks of surgery.
What makes the program unique in its approach is the blend of empathy, compassion and love that has opened it up to the community. Acceptance by the local population has increased greatly over the years and has led to an unprecedented level of trust. Under this program, approximately 1,290 eye screening clinics have been conducted. As a result, many people from remote areas are receiving treatment that would otherwise go untreated, and in turn, the Institute is increasing the quality of life for countless people.
'Cataract Free' Zone
The concept of this program, as it suggests, is to select a small geographical area and eradicate all presence of cataracts. With a population of 16,000, the Chebrolu village has shown great interest in the concept. After extensive work and countless operations, Dr. G. Sitaramaswamy, along with the cooperation of the locals are working to make this goal a reality. This village will become a trendsetter and a model for others to adopt and strive towards. Following this example, the fight to eradicate the backlog cases of cataracts will be that much closer to completion.
Children's Out-reach Program
After conducting an initial survey around 1,400 children from various schools in the area, a detailed study was undertaken to begin screening children from all the schools in the vicinity. The study is in progress and will continue further in order to prevent childhood blindness in the region. Any child in need will be treated free of charge for disorders such as vitamin A deficiency, refractive errors, squint eye, cataracts, and any other problems.
Teaching, Training and Educational Programs
As a recognized training center by the Government of India, Srikiran has gained distinction by becoming one of a mere eleven training centers that qualify the staff to train IOL surgeries. By placing such a great emphasis on education, all the staff members, ophthalmologists, and general physicians are kept up to date with all the latest developments in ophthalmology and eye care. To obtain the high standards needed by the institute, various programs are in place to train the staff and keep everyone well informed. These are discussed below.
Offered to recent postgraduates in Ophthalmology, the fellowship program offers to teach the candidate all the latest techniques, concepts, and treatments in eye care. The duration of the program is one year, allowing enough time for the candidate to learn to apply the skills learned. In addition, several ophthalmologists from Government of India were trained in cataract surgery and IOL implantation techniques.
Workshops aimed towards teaching previously qualified ophthalmologists the most recent developments in the field are conducted mostly at the time of visiting consultants.
Over the years, the Institute has received a high volume of interest about the way in which it manages the high volume of cataract surgeries while maintaining the quality of service. Due to the expressed interest of doctors in observing manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery, an observation program has been setup for their benefit. Under this program, usually two outside ophthalmologists attend the institute two days a week to observe the general procedures. This program has helped them to organize their work better and also to improve the quality of their surgeries.
Continuing Medical Education Program
The goal of creating a network of exchange between different specialties of medicine has led to the creation of this program. Offered to general physicians who are interested in learning the latest developments in ophthalmology, this program helps doctors outside the Institute, guide their patients to seek timely help from ophthalmologists.
Ophthalmic Assistants Training
Due to the overwhelming need for more qualified and competent ophthalmic assistants, a one year training course was developed. The course is aimed at providing occupational skills to young persons with a high school completion background. The course is completely free, and a stipend is also provided to the candidates.
To address the lack of understanding in the general public, educational seminars have been setup to educate people about the eye, the possible problems, eye care, and available treatments. In addition to spread awareness, and taking strong preventive measures, the Srikiran Institute strives to dispel the many myths and misconceptions through this multi-faceted educational program. The methods adopted so far include:
- Proper counseling of the patients regarding their eye problems and the choices of treatment available
- Educating the teachers in the Children's Outreach Program
- Advising the patients on one-on-one basis during the Community Outreach Program and also at the base hospital
- Preparing and distributing brochures related to eye care, in both English and Telugu
- Playing video discs about eye care at the Institute while patients are waiting
Institutional Review Board/Independent Ethics Committee
The Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Ethics Committee (IEC) at the Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology is an independent body to ensure the safety, welfare, and privacy of research subjects. All studies are conducted at Srikiran according to standards of Good Clinical Practice (Schedule Y amended 2005, ICMR Ethical guidelines), applicable government regulations, and institutional research policies and procedures.
The Srikiran IRB group that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans with the aim to protect the rights and welfare of the subjects. The IRB has the independent authority to review, approve, require modifications, or disapprove research protocols.The IRB performs critical oversight functions for research conducted on human subjects.
The current Srikiran IRB committee members include:
Dr. M. Naveen Krishna
M.B.B.S at Dr. B R Ambedkar Medical College, Bangalore MHSC in Diabetology From Annamalai University
Executive Director, Cosy World Resorts Ltd. Chairman, M. Gopala Krishna Educational Society
Dr. S. Ramana Rao
M.B.B.S. at Rangaraya Medical College, Kakinada Formerly served in Armed Forces medical services for 18 Â½ years with Naval Wing all over the country in various appointments including military hospitals and naval warships
Volunteer Consultant, General Practioner, Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology
Dr. D.S.D. Shyamala
Post Graduation from Andhra University in Public Administration Doctorate Degree from Sri Sathya Sai University in Telugu language & Literature
East Godavari District Educational coordinator, Sri Sathya Sai Bala Vikas Master Trainer & State Faculty, in Sri Sathya Sai Seva organizations, Andhra Pradesh.
Mr. Bhaskar Sundaram
Advocate and Chartered Accountant, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh
Dr. S. Chandrasekhar
Founder, Manjari Sankurathri Memorial Foundation as a registered charity in Canada and Sankurathri Foundation in India in 1989
Managing Director of Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology, Sarada Vidyalayam, a High School, and Spandana, a disaster relief program.