New Centre of Excellence in eyecare coming up at Salt Lake

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Kolkata, Jun 3 (UNI) City based Susrut Eye Foundation and Research Centre (SEFRC) will set up a Rs 20-crore Centre of Excellence (CoE) in advanced eyecare services and research in Salt Lake.

This was announced here today by SEFRC president Dr Sunil Chandra Bagchi who informed that the initiative would be a joint venture with the West Bengal government.

Dr Bagchi said the state government has allotted a 17-cottah plot to SEFRC where the new CoE would be built adjacent to the current facility.

He said the CoE would house the first super-speciality paediatric opthalmology clinic in the eastern region, advanced vitreo-retinal service, a vision enhancement centre and also focus on teaching, training and vision research.

'' SEFRC has completed 10 successful years of service and we are now ready for our next phase of growth. The CoE is expected to be completed by 2010 and would be a major stride in self-reliance in eyecare services and treatment in the region,'' Dr Bagchi observed.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Bagchi said, the world's blindness would be doubled by 2020 but nearly 80 per cent of this blindness was avoidable.

'' Today, out of four blind people in the world one is Indian. It is estimated that over 12 million people in India are victims of blindness. Eastern India accounts for 2.5 million people who are victims of blindness, of which 1.7 million can be cured by surgery or proper medical treatment,'' he maintained.

SEFRC secretary Dr Ratish Chandra Paul said the CoE would be equipped with latest eyecare equipment and carry out advanced research in the related fields.

'' The CoE will vie for global standards as a benchmark and provide the latest advances in eyecare management,'' Dr Paul remarked.

UNI ADG KK DB1715

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