Join SightLife in building corneal surgeon capacity and capability in India
For the past five years, SightLife has worked in partnership with eye banks in India, Nepal, Ethiopia and Paraguay to increase the supply of corneal tissues to surgeons in support of our mission to eliminate corneal blindness. While lack of tissue is one of the main barriers to treating corneal blindness, the volume of patients in the developing world also requires an increase in the number of qualified corneal surgeons.
India bears one of the biggest burdens of corneal blindness in the world, with an estimated population of 1,000,000 bilaterally and 5,500,000 unilaterally blind. Approximately 23,000 transplants are completed annually by 350 surgeons, with a success rate of only 72% (compare to 89% in the developed world). To reduce the impact of corneal blindness in India, SightLife estimates that 100,000 successful transplants must be performed each year.
In September 2014, we will launch the SightLife Surgeon Training Initiative to increase the quality and quantity of corneal transplants in India by building surgeon capacity. SightLife will host three intensive skills transfer courses this fall to provide practicing corneal surgeons with hands-on training in DSEK surgical techniques, as well as ongoing coaching from the faculty following the training program. The courses are designed to improve each surgeon’s ability to diagnose indications and assign the treatment with the greatest chance of success, develop surgical skill in DSEK, and explain and demonstrate postoperative care in patients treated with DSEK.
SightLife has the honor of partnering with two of the leading ophthalmic institutions in India, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad and Dr. R.P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, Delhi, to host the 2014 courses. Next year, SightLife will work with three more institutions in India and Nepal to expand course offerings to include PK and DALK, as well as training for general ophthalmologists in follow-up care for corneal patients.
The Surgeon Training Initiative was created by corneal surgeons committed to eliminating corneal blindness and we need your engagement to make it a success. Here’s how you can support our work:
Apply to be a visiting faculty member for one of the upcoming skills transfer programs in 2015
Serve as a virtual mentor for a corneal surgeon in the developing world
Develop and refine curriculum for courses
Apply to serve as a host institution for the training program (must be located in the developing world)
Recommend surgeons you know to participate in the courses (must practice in the developing world)
Support our work with a donation
Request email updates on SightLife’s Surgeon Training Initiative
For more information or to get involved, please contact Josie Noah, Director, Global Surgeon Training Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-781-258-8122.