SWARNAM EYE BANK”, launched in July 2017, is a not-for-profit initiative of SSM Eye Research Foundation. It is a long cherished dream of Giridhar Eye Institute. The eye bank, with state of the art amenities, has brought down our dependence on faraway centres for corneal transplant. Restoration of sight to corneal blind patients through corneal transplantation depends entirely on the eye banks and the eye banks are the main source of tissue collection.
According to the World Health Organization, blindness of the cornea is the 4th leading cause of blindness globally (5.1%), and is one of the major causes of visual deficiency after cataract, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Additionally, each year more than 350,000 children are born with or develop infections at a young age which cause corneal blindness. Eyes (Cornea) can be donated (pledged) when you are alive or after death but only with the consent of next of kin or family members. Cornea can be collected either at home or in the hospital within 4 to 6 hours of death.
If you would like to donate / pledge your eyes, please contact:
Toll Free Number : 1800 425 6424
Mr. Riyasudheen, Grief Counsellor : 90 61 19 11 19
Mr. Iby Varghese, Manager : 70 25 75 69 47
SSM trust has been conducting comprehensive free eye screening camps since 2005 and regular screening camps at the following places:
(1) Gurudwara Guru Singh Sabha
(2) Rotary Balbhavan
(3) Abhayam Charitable Trust
In addition, the trust also conducts camps in association with various NGOs, Residential Association and Clubs.
A total 1127 eye screening camps were held during the period 2005 to 2020 and from the 102960 patients who participated in these camps, 9393 patients were benefitted with free cataract surgeries.
Appropriate vision testing at an early age is vital to ensure your child has the visual skills he or she needs to perform well in school. A child who is unable to see print or view a chalkboard can become easily frustrated, leading to poor academic performance. It is therefore important not to delay eye exam for young infants and children because some early eye problems can affect vision for life. Finding a problem early can keep a minor issue from becoming something major and harder to treat. A Squint or Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not align properly. One eye turns inwards, upwards, downwards, or outwards, while the other eye focuses on one spot. As a result, both eyes are unable to look at the same spot at the same time. This anomaly is called Strabismus which can be diagnosed and treated effectively at an early stage.
SSM Trust has been regularly associating with various academic institutions, esp. children at primary age and also differently abled children, for detecting eye complaints like short sight, squint, etc. and conducts this event on a continuing basis.
In October 2016 “THE HINDU” joined hands with the GEI and SSM Trust in organizing awareness among children on eye care. The 35 day long screening program held in 17 schools, a total of 5293 students were screened.
In October 2012 a painting competition for the differently abled children was organized – 57 students participated from 18 schools.
In October 2019 Myopia awareness program “see the sunshine” kick started in commemoration of world sight day in association with the KSOS and COC. The project consists of two phases, the first for the parents and teachers and the second for the school children
Regular eye examinations are more important for senior citizens. SSM Trust conducts eye screening programs for the old age people every year in various old aged homes. In association with “Vayomithram”, a Kerala Government initiative for old aged people, SSM Trust conducted eye screening for the old aged in various parts of Ernakulam District. Out of the 143 senior citizens screened, 17 were performed cataract surgery free of cost.
In November 2012, SSM Trust and GEI jointly conducted a Tribal Screening Camp in Adimali for over 209 tribal. Free spectacles were dispensed at the site to the eligible and the 5 patients who have been advised cataract surgery were brought to the hospital underwent free surgery
In February 2019 As part of the screening and awareness programs, a team of 59 members including doctors, optometrists, nurses and social workers divided into 7 groups travelled to 7 tribal settlements (Kudi) and screened 659 tribes of which 5 were brought to the hospital and underwent free cataract surgery
In 2019 March, a Mega Tribal Screening program at 7 tribal settlements in Kuttampuzha was held. 649 tribes were screened and 6 tribes brought to GEI Kadavanthra for free cataract surgery and subsequently post-operative follow-up successfully. This program was selected for Rotary International CSR Excellence Award in 2019
In March 2021 a Tribal Screening Program at Thamaravellachal, Urukkoottam, Thrissur was held where 205 tribal were screened at three different locations. 100 reading glasses were issued and 11 patients referred for surgical intervention. Tele-consultation introduced at the screening site. 3 consultants and 15 optometrists plus support staff put together 21 persons managed this screening program
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, the health of which is vital for good vision. This damage is often caused by an abnormally high pressure in the eye. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Usually the first sign of glaucoma will be loss of peripheral or side vision. Vision loss can also happen suddenly in severe glaucoma patients. Glaucoma is a lifelong condition that needs continual follow-up with a glaucoma specialist.
World Glaucoma Week falls in March every year. On this occasion the trust conducts glaucoma screening program every year in addition to a week-long awareness sessions held in the hospital and also for the select audience in screening camps
In 2019 March, SSM trust in association with the Giridhar Hospital, conducted a Glaucoma Walkathon from Giridhar Hospital to Kadavanthra Junction through Sahodaran Ayyappan Road to spread awareness about the glaucoma disease.
In March 2021 SSM Trust associated with the Kerala Motor Vehicle Department Ernakulam District to conduct screening and awareness program at Vytila Mobility Hub for the bus drivers and public
Prevalence of diabetes in Kerala is as high as 20%. Diabetic eye disease is a group of eye problems that can affect people with diabetes. These conditions include diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, cataract and glaucoma. Over time, diabetes can cause damage to your eyes that can lead to poor vision or even blindness. But we can take steps to prevent diabetic eye disease, or keep it from getting worse, by taking care of the diabetes. Often there are no warning signs of diabetic eye disease or vision loss when damage first develops. A full, dilated eye examination helps your doctor find and treat eye problems early – often before much vision loss can occur
World Diabetic Day falls on November 14th. Several diabetic screening programs were held by the SSM trust in addition to spreading awareness about diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Many door-to-door surveys were conducted. Thousands of diabetic patients were benefited in the rural parts of Kerala by the Trust’s movement in creating awareness through Medical Social Workers and Asha workers. Sessions were also held repeatedly for the General Physicians in Ernakulam, Thrissur and Idukki Districts. A wide range of healthcare professionals, right from ophthalmologists to primary level social workers were covered in various educative and hands-on training modules.
SSM Trust in association with Giridhar Eye Institute participated in XOVA (eXcellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award) on a Diabetic Retinopathy project titled “Kerala Comprehensive Diabetic Retinopathy Training Model” with financial aid by Novartis AG, Switzerland, which was well acknowledged and projected in the 12th International AMD and Retina Congress organized by ESASO (European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology) held at Prague, Czech Republic, on 2-3 November 2012
SSM Trust continues its endeavor to create awareness about complications of various eye diseases, such as Cataract, Glaucoma, Diabetic Retinopathy, Eye Donation, etc. among the general public in the urban and rural areas
Continuing Medical Education refers to a specific form of continuing education that helps those in the medical field maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas of their field. These activities may be held in the form of live events, written publications, online programs, etc. Giridhar Eye Institute conducts continuing medical education programs every year jointly with the SSM Trust in various sub-specialties in Ophthalmology viz. Cataract, Glaucoma, Retina, Pediatric Ophthalmology, Oculoplasty and Orbit, and Cornea. These platforms have provided opportunity to update knowledge, skills and practices of many ophthalmologists who participated in these CMEs. In addition, a number of articles in Ophthalmology have been published in the peer reviewed journals by the ophthalmologists practicing in Giridhar Eye Institute. The institute also encourages participation in ophthalmology conferences held at national and international levels.
Charity forms only one part of the foundation. Spreading and acknowledging knowledge is an equally important function for the SSM Trust. The SSM Oration, held every two years, honours an eminent ophthalmologist, a medical teacher or a medical scientist for their contribution to the development and progress of ophthalmology and allied sciences. Held in Kochi, the function is attended by the who’s who of the city’s medical fraternity.
Professor (Dr) Renuka Srinivasan received the first SSM Oration in 2007. The second SSM Oration was awarded to Dr. S. Natarajan in 2009 and Dr. Lalit Kapoor the recipient of third Oration in 2012. The fourth Oration was awarded to Dr. T.S. Surendran of Sankara Nethralaya in 2016 and the fifth Oration was awarded to Dr. Mangat R Dogra in 2019.