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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-44

Presidential Address

All India Ophthalmological Society at the 48th AIOS, Ahmedabad, India

Correspondence Address:
I S Jain
All India Ophthalmological Society at the 48th AIOS, Ahmedabad
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How to cite this article:
Jain I S. Presidential Address. Indian J Ophthalmol 1990;38:42-4

How to cite this URL:
Jain I S. Presidential Address. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1990 [cited 2022 Sep 25];38:42-4. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1990/38/1/42/25899

Honourable chief guest, dignitaries on the dais honoured guests of the Society, distinguished colleagues, dele­gates, ladies, gentlemen:

I feel greatly honoured to welcome you all to this 48th annual conference of our society in the great historic city of Ahmedabad with the courtesy of the Organizing Sec­retary Dr.A.K.Bavishi and his team of dedicated ophthal­mologists. His organisational capacity is phenomenal backed by Dr.P.N.Nagpal - the two giants of the Ahme­dabad Academy of Ophthalmology. I am conscious of the fact that I am succeeding Prof.S.R.K.Malik, yet another giant in Indian Ophthal­mology who forewarned me in his congratulatory letter in 1988 that I have to follow his foot steps. A great task indeed!.

Let me begin with the present panorama of Ophthalmol­ogy:


The year 1989 has witnessed progress on all fronts of academic and modern ophthalmology. About half a dozen National and Regional workshops on intra ocular lens implantation have been held in Hyderabad,Madras, Srinagar and Chandigarh. Courses on indirect ophthal­moscopy, vitreo-retinal surgery, retinal detachment sur­gery, microsurgery, and refractive corneal surgery have been held at Medical Research Foundation

. ,AgarwalEye

Institute and L.V.Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad.

A national seminar on squint and amblyopia took place at R.P.Centre towards the end of November, 1989. Regional conferences have taken place and 1989 wit­nessed the birth of the first West zone ophthalmic meeting in September, 1989 at Madagaon in Goa. The third North Zone meeting took place in Rohtak and the 6th East Zone meeting at Manipur. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madras state ophthalmic societies held their annual meetings.

A new Society for Orbit and Oculoplasty has been formed and its meeting will be held during this confer­ence. The Glaucoma society will also be holding its meeting and academic programme. The Federation of Ophthalmic Research and Education Centres will be holding their instruction courses simulta­neously with AIOS courses as in the past year. Training programmes are being offered by the Federa­tion at its affiliated centres to young aspiring ophthal­mologists within the country and also fellowships to visit some centres in West Germany under the leadership of Prof. Med. F.Rentsch.S The year 1990 will witness yet another momentous event of the birth of the Indian college of Ophthalmolo­gists to streamline sub speciality training and award fel­lowships by examination in anterior segment; posterior segment; neuro ophthalmology and ocular motility, re­fractions, contact lenses and low vision aids. The Federation is already conducting membership examination in two parts and is awarding degrees at its annual convocation to be held during the AIOS confer­ence. All this is being done under the stewardship of Prof. L.P.Aggarwal, the architect of the National Plan for Control of Blindness.


For the upliftment of our national ophthalmic expertise, the contribution of our Indian Ophthalmologists settled in USA and other American ophthalmic colleagues is tre­mendous by their interest in Indian Ophthalmology, participation and contribution at our national confer­ences and offering observational fellowships to Indian ophthalmologists.

INDO-JAPANESE OPHTHALMIC FOUNDATION: This Foundation which held its 2nd meeting in Delhi in 1989 has played yet another phenomenal role in boost­ing the standards of ophthalmic practice by exposing our ophthalmologists to visit, observe and discuss the use of sophisticated appliances in modern ophthalmic surgery. More than 100 Indian ophthalmologists have enjoyed this privilege through the aegis of the Indo-Japanese Foundation and through the kind courtesy of Prof.S.R.K.Malik and Prof.Akira Momose of Kiryu and Prof.Yamanaka of Kobe, Japan.


Prof.Rentsch of Germany and Prof. L. P.Aggarwal of India are also trying their best to help our Indian ophthal­mologists by offering training facilities varying for a period of 2-3 months.So far so good, as far as keeping

pace with the acquisition of modern knowhow from abroad is concerned.


The scientific programme arranged by the AIOS with more than 20 instructional courses, current status pro­grammesfor and against debate, open debates on con­troversial topics and many new programmes are on the agenda for the 1990 meeting. So, ladies and gentleman, let me join you all in offering our heartiest felicitations and acknowledge with gratitude the services rendered by the Chairman, Scientific committee, Dr. P.N.Nagpal, the man with dynamism and indefatigable energy who has in­deed brought scientific ophthalmology of India to match with international pride. Ladies and gentlemen, let us give him a big hand.


Now let me touch upon the Betenoire of Indian Ophthal­mologists - the sitting blind of the national waiting to be rehabilitated - the peripheral problem of cataract and corneal blindness.

There is a plataeu of cataract surgery at 1.2 million each year for the last five years while there are 7.5 million mature cataract cases and 21 million cataract cases in various advanced stages of maturity every year. Thus, there is a back log of 10 million cases of cataract awaiting surgery today.

The Eye Bank Association of India has estimated that there are two million blind due to corneal pathology and 5,00,000 (25%) can be benefitted by corneal grafting while only 3,000 grafts are done annually. Staggering figures indeed ! Efforts of the TERF(Times Eye Re­search Foundation) and now EBAI (Eye Bank Associa­tion of India) in eye donation movement and streamlin­ing eye bank functioning in India are indeed laudable. Let us one and all lend our helping hand to these organisations.

Back again to avoidable blindness by cataract !

My predecessors talked about desirability of eye camps in peripheral cataract hospitals, incentive plans and role of ophthalmic assistants in preparation of cases. One eye camp disaster put in reverse gear the whole enthu­siasm and target oriented programme of NPCB, it led to Supreme Court intervention and MCI guidelines for strict adherance to avoid legal action: "only qualified ophthal­mologists with experience, should conduct such camps. No post graduate student under training is allowed to do surgery, there has to be a pathologist and a physician in the team". Now with these guidelines where are the volunteers? The nation needs people like the Pahwas, Reddys and Venkataswamies. Our Society should honour them for their services in this field. On the other hand, IAPB President, Dr.Carl Kupfer talks about cataract free zones and his experiment in Africa in

training paramedics to do cataract surgery. Are you pre­pared to consider its applications to the Indian situation. Are there any alternatives? Can we enlist Government support in utilising hospitals as venues for eye camps just as family planning camps, one week a month through out the year and through outthe country? Would aspiring IOL surgeons participate in such programme?

The corneal complications of IOL surgery would also put a heavy demand for training of corneal surgeons and creation of eye banking facility at every district hospital.


1. Formulate code of ethics and evolve means of enforc­ing.

For the past five years, at the Society meetings, we have been discussing iatrogenesis in one form or the other. Panel discussion, main topic for symposium and this year it . is with a different label of "How do we look at another surgeon's complications - let us be one".

It is high time that the Society forms a sub committee to formulate a code of ethics for practice of Ophthalmology in this country. We can learn from the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) code of ethics and Japa­nese Ophthalmology code of ethics. It is not for me to elaborate on ethics except to mention that ethics is a moral code and its purpose in medicine is to protect the patient and the concept of what is ethics varies with the individual. Hence a free and fair discussion should take place on this topic. Pecuniary gain, enhancement of the ego or mere convenience should not be permitted to interfere with this goal. Ladies and gentlemen, let us dis­cuss it before the law and, public takes us to task.

2. Formation of Association of Teachers of Ophthalmol­ogy.

It is required to protect standards of training, review cur­ricula of both undergraduates and post graduate courses and standards of examination. A dialogue should be maintained with the residents to have a continuous feed back. At my behest, this year, the Society has allocated some time to elicit the views of the recipients on its in­structional courses and current status programme. The teachers meeting should take place during the annual conference and summary of deliberations brought to the knowledge of OBSC. 3. Research

Should guidance of research on topics of national inter­est also be shared by the AIOS? I subscribe to this view for two reasons:

a) Office bearers of the Society are in the picture when the Government of India formulates any such plan or at­taches its priorities which should also tally with the Society's aim.

b) Funding of research plans by the society can be asked for from ICMR and other government and foreign agencies.


One can draw out a standing panel of ophthalmologists to serve on the Research Programme Committee and further split them into sub speciality groups like corneal panel, cataract panel, retinal and vitreous panel, am­blyopia panel, refraction, contact lens and low vision aid panel.

Topics for clinical trials at collaborative centres both gov­ernmental and private institutions should be identified and results shared at society's annual meetings. We can seek help and guidance from Dr.Carl Kupfer, the Direc­tor of National Eye Institute, USA who has been carrying out clinical trials with NEI funding for the past ten years or more;


The idea was mooted at a workshop in Chandigarh in October, 1989 on current priorities in Eye Research.lt was emphasised that a society for Eye Research be formed for proper interaction between biochemists, bio­physicists and clinicians. To start with a periodic news letter would be issued during this year.

Before I conclude my address, ladies and gentlemen I would like to say a word about our relationship with paramedics and paraprofessionals.

Optometrists wish to join hands with the ophthalmolo­gists in combating blindness and aspire to be recognised and entrusted with more responsibilities. I feel taking the initiative of organising refresher courses for them with well planned aims and objectives would cement our bonds and we would have an opportunity to assess their potential of sharing responsibility.


The Society already took the first step in Madras by awarding a shield and prize to the best stall and it should be continued and on their part we expect they should strive to gain and maintain our trust in their products and salesmanship. I do not wish to see premature publicity in the nature of differences between the suppliers and the recipients.

With these brief comments, on the scenario of Indian Ophthalmology, I come back to my predecessor's ex­hortation on several fronts like formation of Implementa­tion Committee headed by the immediate Past President of the Society and hence I am in a happy situation to announce that Prof.S.R.K. Malik the immediate past President of the Committee for the year 1990 and put himself head long into it and help complete unfinished goals outlined in 1989 and for the current year, I solicit his guidance and counselling at every step to discharge my new responsibility.

Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you profusely for gracing the occasion and for your patient hearing and I wish you all a very happy prosperous and fruitful 1990.

Thank you.


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