Hyderabad, 14th November 2022: The Shantilal Shanghvi Cornea Institute, an Institute of Excellence and a Global Resource Centre, was inaugurated on 12 November 2022 at the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) by Sri N V Ramana – Former Chief Justice of India and Prof Partha Pratim Majumder – National Science Chair, Govt of India. In recognition of the support extended by the Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation, the Cornea Institute at LVPEI has been named the ‘Shantilal Shanghvi Cornea Institute. The centre was inaugurated in the presence of Mr Dilip Shanghvi – Director of Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation, and the senior leadership team of L V Prasad Eye Institute.
The Cornea is a clear transparent layer in front of the eye, often called the window of the eye. A person must have a clear and healthy cornea for good vision. If it develops an opacity or is swollen or damaged, adequate light does not enter the eye, making the vision blurry. Common causes of these conditions are injuries, eye infections, congenital disorders and cataract surgery complications resulting in significant visual disability. Since it is located in the most prominent part of the eye, it also is susceptible to injuries and infections.
Corneal diseases are a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment in India and developing countries worldwide. Of the 10 million blind people in India, over 2 million Indians are affected by corneal blindness, 60% being below the age of 12.
Dr Pravin Vaddavalli, Director of the Shantilal Shanghvi Cornea Institute & the Institutes of Excellence Program, L V Prasad Eye Institute, said: “The Shantilal Shanghvi Cornea Institute is an integral part of LVPEI. The focus is on preventing avoidable corneal blindness by taking a comprehensive approach to tackling corneal conditions and resulting vision loss. The focus of the Shantilal Shanghvi Cornea Institute will be to make appropriate treatment available for eye problems resulting from corneal diseases. Envisaged as a Global Resource Centre, it will not only focus on caring for patients at all levels of eye care but also on creating and disseminating knowledge directly through the LVPEI network and indirectly by partnerships and capacity building of other eye healthcare organisations.”
Annually, across the LVPEI network of 260+ centres, over 50,000 patients are examined for various corneal eye problems, and 18,000 corneal surgeries are performed. Over 50% of these services are provided completely free of cost to patients from underprivileged backgrounds, irrespective of the complexity of care needed.
Dr Prashant Garg, Executive Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute, added: “We extend our sincere thanks to Mr Dilip Shanghvi and his family for their generous support. With this partnership, we will be scaling up our services to bring advanced and equitable corneal eye care services to the doorstep of communities – making it accessible and affordable for all. We also extend our sincere gratitude to Sri N V Ramana – Former Chief Justice of India, and Prof Partha Pratim Majumder – National Science Chair, Govt of India, for joining us for this milestone event at the L V Prasad Eye Institute.”
Commenting on the partnership, Mr Dilip Shanghvi, Director of Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation, said: “The Shantilal Shanghvi Foundation is working towards addressing challenges related to healthcare and access in India. We are happy to partner with LVPEI and support them in their endeavour to manage corneal blindness and help patients with improved vision and improved quality of life.”
Institute of Excellence and a Global Resource Centre: For controlling all major forms of blindness and visual impairment at the national and global levels, one of the strategic focus areas for LVPEI is to develop Institutes of Excellence. These institutes not only work towards making quality eye care services accessible and affordable for the communities, including those in remote rural areas but also focus on creating an interlinked network of ‘Global Resource Centres’ followed by the development of ‘Regional Centres’ using prevention and treatment strategies, human resource development and research. The Institutes of Excellence at LVPEI encompass corneal eye diseases, retinal eye diseases, eye cancer, children’s eye care, elderly eye care and vision rehabilitation, and several individual Institutes of Excellence are also evolving.