February 23rd, 2023: Under the Ujjyalo, Disability Inclusive Universal Eye Health programme Siliguri Greater Lins Eye Hospital, in partnership with CBM, supported by Standard Chartered Bank in collaboration with Dept. Of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Sikkim inaugurated it’s 5th Primary Eye Care Centre in the State of Sikkim, at Rangpo, East Sikkim. This was the 5th Primary Eye care centre in Sikkim under the project Ujjyalo, a disability inclusive universal eye health programmededicated to eradicate avoidable blindness from the state of Sikkim, with special focus on people living with disability and the elderly. The inauguration also marked a step further towards creating an eye care accessible space for people in the region so that a person vulnerable to acquire eye disease is intercepted early and brought to treatment before his/her condition deteriorate. The centre was inaugurated from the hands of Chief Guest Ms. Prabha Pradha Zilla Upadhyaksh, Pakyong District; Guest Of Honour Ms. Sunita Gautam, Chairperson RDD, Govt. Of Sikkim;Dr. Sangeeta Pradhan, ADHS, SPO, NPCB&VI, Govt. Of Sikkim;Shri Sanjeev Khati, Panchayat President, Rangpo Nagar Panchayat and Special Guest Shri Tashi Bhutia, Joint Secretary, WCDD; with Dr. M. B Chettri Joint Commissioner, Disability, Technical, Women & Child Development Dept. Govt. of Sikkim in presence of Trustees from Lions Club Of Siliguri Greater, and Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital. From the Club were present Hospital Chairman Lion Binayamrit Mundra, Past Chairman Lion P. L Kedia, Lion Rakesh Agarwal, with other guests from nearby areas. The programme was facilitated by Dr. Rajesh Saini, CEO Hospital, along with programme manager Dibyaraj Ghatani and other Vision Centre staff.
The centre is dedicated to intercept and provide affordable and accessible quality eye care to the people of Rangpo. The centre isstrategically located at Pakyong District of East Sikkim, bordering Kalimpong district of West Bengal and is the first town of Sikkim lying on National Highway 10, that links Siliguri to Gangtok along the Teesta river and Rangpo River. The centre will work as a crucial set-up in connecting settlements spread in a radius of 15 kms reaching to a populations of more than 50,000+. The centre aims to provide early access to quality eye care and prevent avoidable blindness probability in the region. The Vision Centre will be of great significance for people living in difficult to access hamlets reducing there times to travel far for basic eye care, reaching women, children and people with disabilities a their home through a robust Vision Centre led door-to-door screening mechanism. People identified with ailment in need of special care will the referred to STNM or the base hospital at Siliguri.
Addressing the visiting guests honourable Ms. Prabha Pradha ZillaUpadhyaksh said, “Sikkim has been the first state to adopt the Universal Eye Health Initiative showing its commitment to create Sikkim also the first avoidable blindness free state in India. We have come a long way, and we have taken crucial steps to make the programme a success in the coming years with the support of Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital.” Supporting the word of the honourable Minister Dr. Rajesh Saini said, “We have already opened 4 primary eye care centres under the initiatives. Under the CBM, Standard Chartered initiative after Rangpo, 2 more centresat Ranipool and Pakyong will open in this month further strengthening our efforts and reach to every horusehold in the region. These centres are equipped with latest world classscreening facilities, supported by Mobile Eye Clinics which will help to take the programme to every door-step. Especially, we would like you all to take this message ahead to ensure that the women, elderly and people having special needs (diabled) are brought under the umbrella of Ujjyalo.” The inauguration of thecentre at Rangpo is a step forward towards the commitment of CBM & Standard Chartered initiative with Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital to open 15 primary eye care centre, having 12 centres to be opened in North Bengal, and 3 at Sikkim.
The Vision Centres are designed and equipped to address the basic and most prevalent causes of visual impairment and blindness; focusing on correcting uncorrected refractive error (dispensing prescription eyeglasses) and detecting cataract and other potentially blinding diseases, such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The Vision Centre will also act as a referral centre andprovide accessibility to the nearest Government facility or to the base hospital at Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital. The Vision Centre features the facility of direct teleconsultation with the doctors from the hospital.
The Vision Centre will be also training community volunteers to work as outreach workers, helping the hospital intercept the patient at their door-steps; creating mass community awareness and taking the services to every household in the surrounding region. It is expected to examine over 8000 patients and dispense over 500 pairs of eye-glasses annually.
About SIliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital:
Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital (SGLEH) is biggest, most trusted and the only NABH certified registered non-profit, non Govt. premier philanthropic eye health institution in North Bengal. It is also the biggest Lions Club eye hospital systems in India with 2 tertiary eye care and 2 secondary eye care Cataract centres, and 30+ primary eye care centres. Together, the hospital systems conduct more than 700+ camps across the region and intercepts more than 4,00,000 person annually bringing them under the umbrella of hospital comprehensive eye care services. The hospital is a centre of excellence and plays a crucial role in strengthening government systems in its resolution to meet avoidable blindness prevention goals in the region.
Sight saving work of Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital focuses on bringing quality eye services through its network of tertiary, secondary and primary eye care centers. It invests substantially in upgrading infrastructure, adopting latest technology and building capacity of eye care personnel in Eastern India. Together with its partners, the organization has for the past 40 years, helped protect the eyesight of lakhs of people and moved from strength to strength to an outstanding height.