a move to make an indelible impact on the eye-care scenario
in the country, the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI)
has established the School of Optometry, with financial
assistance from Bausch & Lomb Inc. LVPEI is
one of the country's premier medical and research institutes
for eye care. The school of optometry offers a four-year
degree level course in Optometry and a two-year
diploma course for Ophthalmic Technicians with
international standards in the country. The school was
formally inaugurated on 17 January 2001, by Mr. John
M. Loughlin, Senior Corporate Vice President and President
of Asia-Pacific, Bausch & Lomb Inc.
on the occasion, Mr. Loughlin said, "This initiative
from Bausch & Lomb complements the company's ongoing
efforts at various levels to promote eye care in India.
Baush & Lomb Inc. would also like to reiterate its
long term commitment to the Indian region."
He further explained that Bausch & Lomb is associated
with LVPEI, since its inception, and conducted several
clinical studies and research programmes to upgrade eye
care products and services. "We readily agreed
to offer financial assistance to the Optometry School
project, when Mr. G. N. Rao, Director, LVPEI, approached
us with the blue print. Till now, we have spent $1 million
dollars on this project, and I am happy that this school
would help to reduce the occurrence of blindness due to
non-availability of expert advise at village level,"
remarked Mr. Loughlin. Adding to this, Dr. G.N. Rao
said, "The LVPEI, being synonymous with quality
eye care for the past 13 years, is uniquely placed to
offer rich hands-on experience in this new program. The
school marks another step in our endeavour to provide
international standard eye care to the people of India
and the developing world."
5-acre campus, located at Kismatpur near Gandipet,
is endowed with the state-of-the-art equipment and support
facilities, essential to provide world class training
to the students. The school's program, for the first time
in the country, offers a multiple entry and exit options
to the students. The students can exit the program at
different levels to enter the work arena, ready to render
eye-care services, and after a period of time, they can
re-enter the course to complete the four-year baccalaureate
in Optometry. This feature helps in shortening the lead-time
between a student joining the course and the time he can
begin offering eye care services in the country. The school
of optometry is the third of its kind in India, the other
two are located at Chennai and Pune.
school, affiliated to Birla Institute of Technology
and Science (BITS), Pilani, started its first
academic session in September, 2000 admitting 10 students
each in 2-year and 4-year courses based on an all India
level entrance test. Mr Rao said, "From 2001
onwards the intake will be doubled in both the courses.
The students who finish the two-year diploma course will
be called as 'Vision Technicians', and would be capable
to give advice on eye care at Primary Health Centre
(PHC) level. The aim of these courses is to bring
the Optometrician and Population ratio to 1:50,000 from
the existing 1: 2,00,000 by the year 2020."
Mr. Brian Levy, Global Head (R&D), Bausch &
Lomb Inc., Mr. John Goughs, Surgical Head, Bausch
& Lomb Inc. and Mr. J.P. Singh, Managing Director,
Bausch & Lomb Eye care (India) were also present on
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