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Year : 1993  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Changing times


Correspondence Address:
Gullapalli N Rao

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How to cite this article:
Rao GN. Changing times. Indian J Ophthalmol 1993;41:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Rao GN. Changing times. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1993 [cited 2023 Dec 11];41:1-2. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1993/41/1/1/25684

Preservation and restoration of sight are the key issues on the agenda of all professionals involved in eye care. The explosion of innovations during the past two decades has altered the outlook for many, otherwise helpless, victims of blindness. Synergistic efforts of basic scientists and clinicians have paved the path for better understanding of disease and consequent potency in containing it. Clinical application of any breakthrough in the laboratory has become almost instant. Advances in biology and bio-engineering have helped ophthalmologists in the early detection and better control of disease. Scientific approach to assess the efficacy of new forms of treatment has provided solutions to many vexing problems. In the more developed parts of the world, these advances are rapidly translated into better patient care. Although modern technology has accelerated the dissemination of new information across the globe, only a few derive this benefit. A survey of eye care delivery in India shows extreme diversity in the standards across the country. These range from the most modem methods, practised in some institutions and by some individuals, to those that represent the very primitive approaches. The one common bond between these two extremes is a desire to change. Nowhere is this change more visible than in the practice of cataract surgery. While a decade ago, modem extra capsular cataract surgery was employed only by a handful of ophthalmologists, last year more than 250,000 cataracts were removed using this technique. The use of intraocular lens implantation is escalating rapidly. The feeling to improve the quality of care is palpable in all segments of ophthalmolgy across the country. The vehicles that accelerate this movement are becoming increasingly available in the form of excellent centres of ophthalmic education. Many more are still required to meet the existing need.

One other dimension of eye care in India that needs attention is the gross underutilization of available ophthalmologists. While more ophthalmologists are needed to combat the scourge of blindness in the country, action should be initiated to optimize the utilization of this available manpower. This will become a reality when the eye care is delivered through a "team approach" comprising of ophthalmologists, eye care managers, biomedical engineers and paramedical personnel. This strategy is central to successful planning and implementation of any eye care programme. However the ophthalmologist also should have exposure to these, apparantly alien, disciplines.

These "eye care delivery teams" across India and many developing countries do not have easy access to information related to all these critical issues. Exposure to modern trends is of paramount importance to combat blindness without compromising quality. While scientific journals and interaction with colleagues involved in eye care programmes are desirable sources of knowledge, only a small minority have access to these benefits. Our journal aims to provide a comprehensive overview of all the relevant information. The contents of the journal are designed accordingly.

The first section on "Current ophthalmology" includes a major review on one important subject conveying the most recent knowledge. World renowned experts are invited to contribute to this section. The second section incorporates "Original articles" selected from those submitted to the journal. These are selected from the manuscripts submitted to the journal and passed the test of peer review. The quality of these articles, therefore, is a reflection of the academic talent among us. The third section is a compendium of interesting "Case reports" again accepted only after review by experts in the field. The fourth section of "Ophthamology practice" provides useful information to practitioners for ready reference. This is an invited contribution from experienced masters in the given area. The fifth section on "Book reviews" is a guide to our readers about the recently published books and a critique on their content. The sixth section of "Journal abstracts" provides a glimpse ot'some important new information from other journals. This is particularly valuable to many of our colleagues to whom these journals are beyond reach. The Board also felt that our readers should be provided a caiender of educational opportunities across the country as well as a directory of training programmes. Our ultimate goals may not be reflected immediately but we hope this exercise will have the approval of our readers.

The editorial board is committed to presenting the best information available, presented in the most scientific and useful way to the readers. Articles on basic sciences, clinical ophthalmology, epidemiologic information and models of eye care delivery systems will be included. The contributors should make every effort to help us by adhering to all instructions to authors as provided in the journal. This is particularly critical as we have to publish this journal under almost unacceptable conditions of financial constraints. Any journal which wishes to serve its readers well can only be a product of professional team work. This is an expensive proposition. While I am fortunate to have the unreserved access to our institute's infrastructure, any future editors of talent should not be crippled for lack of financial support. The members of All India Ophthalmological Society should voice their encouragement for the journal, through necessary approval of higher budgetary allocation.

The editorial board is a dedicated group of researchers, clinicians and scholars with expertise in diverse fields. The composition of the board meets the present needs of eye care community in India.

Balasubramanian is a scientist extraordinaire and heads one of the foremost groups in cataract research in the world. He is the Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad. J.P. Muliyil is a world class epidemiologist and will provide the much needed help for readers to critically analyse the information and to the contributors to make their data scientifically appropriate. He is Professor and Head of Community medicine at Christian Medical College, Vellore. Thulasi Raj is the most experienced and respected eye care administrator in our country and will enhance our ability to examine the complex issues related to eye care delivery. He is the Administrator of Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai. The component of clinical ophthalmology will obviously be most voluminous and we have the support of Lingam Gopal, N.N. Sood, Ravi Thomas and Abhay Vasavada. These four epitomise the scholars and reseachers among our clinicians. Gopal is the Chief of Vitreo-retinal surgery at Sankara Nethralaya, Madras and an accomplished Vitreo-retinal specialist. N.N. Sood is a true "Professor" in the clinical arena and after retirement from R.P. Centre has settled in New Delhi. Ravi Thomas is one of the most brilliant among our ophthalmologists and has wide interests. He is Professor of ophthalmology and Director of Schell Eye Hospital, Christian Medical College, Vellore. Abhay Vasavada is what one would like to emulate in the field of cataract. With full time interest in the problem of cataract, Abhay runs an eye hospital in Ahmedabad.

Taraprasad Das, Vitreo-retinal surgeon, Anil K. Mandal, Glaucoma consultant both of L.V.Prasad Eye Institute and Bakulesh Khamar of Ahmedabad are responsible for augmenting the information and making necessary modifications. Pratibha Rao is volunteering her time and makes it possible for us to bring out the journal in its present form.

Personally, I will benefit from interaction with these experts and contributors. More importantly, I hope to have greater dialogue with all of you. Together we can contribute to CHANGING TIMES AND ULTIMATELY TO THE PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION OF SIGHT.


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