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Nanotech Holds Promise for Glaucoma, Says Abdul Kalam

Stresses need for research, innovation to root out corneal blindness in the country

Published: 16th March 2015 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2015 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

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VIJAYAWADA:Former President APJ Abdul Kalam has said that using nanotechnology research, ophthalmologists can find innovative treatment methods for glaucoma. Nanotechnology is finding large-scale application in drug delivery systems and  biomedical application.

Delivering a lecture on ‘Research and Innovations Can Bring Better Eyesight’ at LV Prasad Eye Institute here Sunday, he said that approaching glaucoma through the traditional medicine route was another method. “For example, like from the extract of leaves of the Chinese tree ‘ginkgo biloba’, Indians keep their hopes on Ashwagandha of Ayurveda for treatment of glaucoma. But we need an in-depth work on these approaches in traditional medicine,” he explained.

Stressing the need for research in treating glaucoma, he suggested to LVPEI to have its fruits of research accessible by both public and private medical institutions. He said both public and private organisations have to become partners in research on finding a better cure for glaucoma.

He said eye was the most vital sensory organ of the human body through which one could acquire 85 per cent of  knowledge. “There are over 1.2 lakh corneally visually challenged people in India who require cornea transplantation to get back their vision and every year the number of those requiring cornea taransplantation is increasing by 20,000. But only 40,000 cornea are being provided every year by the eye banks and various organisations. By finding technological and managerial ways and means yield can be increased at least to 80 per cent. With the present availability of cornea, we can treat only 16,000 patients every year in the country,” Kalam explained.

Stating that light was provided to remove  darkness, he stressed that research and innovation should be needed to remove the corneal blindness in the country. Appreciating the LV Prasad Institute for performing 5,019 cataract operations and doing 58 per cent of them free of cost, he said that corneal blindness was affecting many people in India and unfortunately there were very few corneal transplant centres and surgeons of international standards. “This centre in Vijayawada has filled this gap in this region and has already performed more than 500 corneal transplants and the newly-launched Children’s Eye Health Initiative will cover the entire Krishna district,” Kalam said.

On the occasion, Abdul Kalam launched few development initiatives at the LV Prasad Eye Institute including laser correction of refractive error, providing internships for  medical students in nearby colleges and children’s eye health initiative in collaboration with the government.

Students thronged the venue to see Abdul Kalam and listen to him. LV Prasad Eye Institute founder Dr G N Rao was present.

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