Dr. Anhalt joins our partners at LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India
By John Anhalt MD
My first rotation as the incoming Academic Global Ophthalmology fellow is at the LV Prasad Eye Hospital in Hyderabad, India. Our program has been sending fellows there every year since our first fellow, Dr. Alessandra Intili, five years ago. We are fortunate to have maintained this great relationship since the four weeks that each fellow spends here is filled with extremely high-yield clinical and surgical training. During my time here, I will partake in a Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery (MSICS) training program that will help prepare me for the year to come.
I arrived in India several days ago and immediately dived into the rigorous training schedule that is a hallmark of LVPEI. As primarily an observer for these first few days, I’m starting to take in the scale and significance that LVPEI has for eye care in the region.
As a little background,
Established only 32 years ago, the hospital system serves a population of over 50 million from the southern Indian states of Telangana, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. The sheer magnitude and efficiency of the operations here are awe-inspiring. To meet the needs of the region, the hospital system a central “flagship” hospital in Hyderabad as well as three other massive tertiary campuses in surrounding regions. To access smaller cities and towns, there are 19 secondary sites, each with their vision screening programs, clinics, and operating rooms.
At these sites, fellows and residents each spend almost a year operating with complete independence: it is a core component in their training. Surgically, these sites perform cataract extraction and pterygium excision primarily, however, they always have the safety net of any of the four tertiary centers to refer complicated cases, complications or patients who require subspecialty management. Feeding into these secondary centers is an expansive network of 180 vision centers and “vision guardians” who are individuals from the community trained to recognize basic eye disease and visual deficits. This network serves to connect small towns and rural villages to the secondary centers. This pyramid of escalating care is a central part of how LVPEI can deliver such effective care to such a large patient population. Over the next few weeks, I am excited to learn more about how the LVPEI system works as well as gaining familiarity with the Aravind model when I travel to Madurai next month.
Tomorrow, I have been assigned my first MSICS cases of this fellowship. I will be operating under the mentorship of Dr. Swapna, and I look forward to challenges and rewards that lie ahead…
The featured photo is the main clinical wing; each floor is dedicated to one or two specialties.
These last two are the new wing for “sight savers” which is a higher payment tier that not only financially supports the hospital but allows for 50% of the patients to get treatment completely free of charge. The hospital had a full-time artist commissioned who made all of the art for the hospital. There are so many beautiful paintings around the hallways, and each clinic it would be impossible to capture them all. There are so many paintings around the hallways, and each clinic it would be impossible to capture them all. Also, I’ll see if I can get better external photos of the hospital, the lighting was odd when I tried this evening.