Medical device manufacturer ZEISS has joined forces with the Christoffel Mission for the Blind (CBM) to establish a new cataract surgery training centre in India.
Doctors will be specifically trained in phacoemulsification at the H. V. Desai Eye Hospital, Pune, in a project that is expected to help thousands of Indians regain their sight.
The renowned eye care clinic serves a region of more than 37 million people and conducts field visits within a 350km radius. In the past year alone, more than 580,000 patients sought help from the hospital, with 34,000 of those undergoing cataract surgery.
Zeiss and CBM have also penned an agreement with the Poona Blind Men Association, which operates the hospital and will cover the cost of cataract surgery for patients who cannot afford it.
“In India, one of the world’s most populous countries, there is a real need for ophthalmologists with the right training. With this new centre, we’re doing our part to enable top-quality ophthalmic care. In the future, poorer people in remote regions will also benefit from this.” CBM CEO Dr Rainer Brockhaus said.
Carl Zeiss Meditec chairman Dr Ludwin Monz said the new phacoemulsification training centre was the result of a long standing collaboration between CBM and Zeiss. The two entities previously combined to open a specialist training centre in Paraguay last year.
“Thanks to this collaboration, we’re helping to establish modern ophthalmic techniques in countries like India, thereby improving eye care treatment for patients,” he said.
Phacoemulsification has been a standard procedure in countries such as Germany for several decades. However, it has been much slower in reaching many developing countries.