Pediatric Eye Cancer Service
The Pediatric Eye Cancer Service ensures comprehensive treatment for children with retinoblastoma, the most common intraocular tumour in India. Our patients obtain coordinated care with the pediatric oncology team at Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Center to provide chemotherapy, focal therapy, transpupillary thermotherapy, subtenons chemotherapy, brachytherapy and stereotactic radiation and RB1 gene mutation screening. Our team of pediatric ophthalmologists, pediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists, retinal surgeons and oculoplasty specialists can ensure that every child gets a wide range treatment under one roof.
With the support of the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Canada), Narayana Nethralaya is in the process of developing various strategies for the early detection of retinoblastoma. Current genetic screening technologies allow us to detect the risk for developing the tumour even before a child is born. Determined to provide every child access to treatment and a chance of being cured of this dreaded cancer, Narayana Nethralaya Foundation and Iksha Foundation co-ordinate to provide the best treatment to children of underprivileged parents at no cost.
Pediatric Ocular Genetics
Genetic basis of eye diseases are being understood much better in the recent past. The future of ophthalmology lies in molecular diagnostics, gene therapy and regenerative medicine. The newly formed department of pediatric ocular genetics adopts a holistic strategy in the management of children with retinal dystrophies, anterior segment dysgenesis and other congenital ocular disorders.
The KID-ROP project addresses the problem of undetected retinopathy of prematurity in the rural areas of Karnataka through the innovative use of technology. In two years the project has covered seven districts, over 2200 infants and has partnered with the National Rural Health Mission, the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad, the National Broadband Initiative and several institutes abroad to promote telemedicine in pediatric eye care with a special focus on ROP. The software created to allow this unique process was named one of the Top Ten Medical Innovations of 2009 and was appreciated by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. This project is set for a regional, national and international expansion this year.
Smart School Screening
Narayana Nethralaya has been conducting regular school screening programs since 2005 to assist in the early identification of vision abnormalities in school children. It has been estimated that up to 10% of school children need glasses. We have started screening children from government schools and Anganwadis around Narayana Nethralaya. The Rotary Club (Health City) has been our major collaborator in this effort. The program ensures that we screen the vision of every child in school and identify obvious eye defects. In the children who are found to have a significant abnormality, spectacles and surgery are offered free of cost for children from underprivileged schools.
Pavagada Pediatric Eye Disease Study
Pavagada is one the most backward and underserved areas in Karnataka state from the health, economic and educational stand points. This region along with surrounding taluks in Tumkur district of Karnataka is devoid of eye care. The study has been launched with an aim of finding the prevalence of eye diseases in children below 15 years by screening and then treating eye conditions in the rural children using a house-to-house survey model. Till date approximately 30,000 children have been screened for eye diseases & the data analysis of the study is ongoing.
Find the Blind Projects
Visual screening for school children is effective in detecting and treating visual defects at an early stage. Unfortunately, many Indian children with visual disabilities do not attend schools, leaving them to be raised at home. There are many hurdles in detecting, diagnosing and treating such children. ‘Find the Blind’ intends to bridge the gap by ensuring that all children with visual disabilities are detected, and provided access to proper ophthalmology support to treat and rehabilitate them. We are determined to use as many creative and innovative methods to reach out to every child with a visual disability. A part of the project is being supported by a grant from Thrashers Research Grant.