Combat Blindness International has been supporting eye care work in our country for over 25 years. Dr. Suresh Chandra has been involved in eye care and improving the health of people locally for over 25 years and in Northern India, his focus area. Towards the end of the 90’s when Shroff Hospital was just beginning to revive itself from a phase of integration, Dr. Chandra came forward with Combat Blindness Foundation, now called Combat Blindness International, and has been supporting cataract surgeries and other programs every year at Shroff Hospital ever since. Around 2010, Combat Blindness International supported the establishment of a secondary center in north Uttar Pradesh region in Saharanpur district. With the seed money that was given for buying equipment for the center, today, this center performs between 3,000-4,000 cataract surgeries and other eye procedures in the center annually. Combat Blindness International has also been supporting the training of young women from rural areas and urban slums to become paramedic ophthalmic personnel at the Shroff’s. Very recently, with Combat Blindness International’s support, Shroff’s team has been working to alleviate blindness in Botswana. We are slated to complete 6,000 surgical procedures over three years. It’s a great partnership to alleviate the backlog of cataract cases in Botswana and train local doctors and nurses to build the medical capacity in the country.
On the education front, CBI facilitates the rotation of residents and medical students from the University of Wisconsin in our partner hospitals and programs. This gives them essential global health experience, and faculty from Shroff have had the opportunity to visit Madison and interact with the faculty and residents of the University of Wisconsin. Overall it is a great opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and research. So we have a very special relationship with Combat Blindness International, a relationship which has many different dimensions from education, to paramedic education, to community outreach, and even looking at global health through our work in Botswana.
Through CBI’s partnership with Dr. Shroff’s Charity Eye Hospital, We’ve been able to establish our Certified Ophthalmic Personnel Programs, empowering the young women of India through training and career opportunities as ophthalmic nurses. Learn more about the COP program here.