Consultancy and Capacity Building
LAICO’s collaborative series under the banner LEAP, aims to bring about improvements in specific functional areas of eye hospitals within 8-12 months, through a collaborative method. LAICO ran the four such collaboratives during the last year, details of which are listed below:
Support for free cataract surgeries
BOSCH, a leading global supplier of technology and services, as part of their CSR activity has been collaborating with LAICO to provide free cataract surgeries for the poor and the needy in the 249 villages adopted by it across 13 Indian states. LAICO identified 23 potential partners in these states and enrolled them in this project. All the allotted surgeries were completed by the partners and the project ended successfully in March 2022.
Global sight initiative
LAICO continued to work with 11 of its partner hospitals under the Global Sight Initiative programme supported by SEVA Foundation. 1,796 free cataract surgeries were performed by these hospitals.
Final Evaluation: CBM multi-year service delivery project
Upon request from CBM, LAICO did the final evaluation of multi-year service delivery projects in five of its partner hospitals. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess whether the project has achieved the set broad objectives during the past 5 years and to document particular areas where the project has been particularly successful or challenging.
UP-SIGHT: Partnership to enhance eye care in Uttar Pradesh
As a major step to enhance eye care in the state of Uttar Pradesh over the next five years, Aravind Eye Care System has partnered with Sitapur Eye Hospital Trust. The project aims to make Sitapur Eye Hospital (SEH) the major eye care provider of that region, as it was four decades ago. A beginning was made with the launch of UP-SIGHT on November 19 in the presence of senior leaders of both the organisations. This initiative aims to equip the SEH with the necessary systems and infrastructure in place to enable it to perform 50,000 surgeries by the end of 5 years and 100,000 by the year 2030.
LAICO was involved in the overall coordination of the project activities. These included deputing necessary human resources to Sitapur Eye Hospital as and when necessary, redesigning the current infrastructure, providing training to Sitapur team, implementation of electronic medical record, assisting in resource mobilisation, purchase of equipment, meting out the necessary IT infrastructure etc.
October Summit, the annual event organised to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr. G. Venkataswamy was a low-key affair in 2021 owing to the pandemic situation. LAICO conducted a webinar on October 21 to share the outcomes and rich learnings gained out of the LEAP Community referral system collaborative. A total of 72 people took part.
Teaching and Training
Inauguration of audio visual studio
Due to the pandemic situation, LAICO started engaging its hospitals and learners virtually. Though available technologies were deployed for delivery of courses and virtual interactions, a lot of short-comings both in the production of the virtual courses and running them were noticed. The need for upgrading and addition of technologies for producing and delivering quality virtual sessions was thus felt. This resulted in LAICO developing an audio-visual unit to create quality teaching resources, with support from Lavelle Fund for the Blind. The studio was inaugurated on April 6.
LAICO conducted Eyexcel 2.0 from May 05 to June 09, 2021, for the first time, as a completely virtual course. Training sessions were scheduled weekly, spread across 6 weeks. 12 teams participated and worked on various real-time training projects.
For the first time, LAICO conducted eyeTRAIN online conference exclusively focused on training of AOP. eyeTRAIN was a juncture that brought together eye care training institutions from across the globe, to showcase best practices and resources for AOP.
Although the conference had a focus on AOP training, it received over 90 submissions for the competitions: It received 43 abstracts for the paper presentation competition, 45 videos and 7 simulation models. 15 of 43 abstracts were shortlisted by the Jury and they were invited to present online. Guest lectures were one of the highlights of this conference.
Winning videos and simulation models were screened online and for paper presentation competition, the conference had ‘TOP 5 Best Paper Awards’.
Aurosiksha, Aravind’s online portal for allied ophthalmic personnel (AOP) has increased its user base and the total count of subscribers has risen to 7047.
With new training materials uploaded for 10 knowledge-based and 9 skill-based competencies, Aurosiksha now has a library of training materials for over 140 competencies. Training materials for over 30 competencies have now been made available in Spanish. These translated materials have been developed in collaboration with Visualiza Eye Hospital in Guatemala and Divino Nino Jesus Eye Hospital in Peru, with support from Seva Foundation, USA.
Service Delivery Projects Managed by LAICO
SUYAM – Total quality management
SUYAM, the total quality management (TQM) initiative at Aravind gained momentum in the last year. A core committee was formed involving LAICO faculty and hospital administrators to facilitate implementation of TQM practices. TQM practices have been implemented in 10 departments of Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai and LAICO. This implementation also helps in strengthening the core central functions of Aravind’s operations as well. As part of this, 5S methodology, employee suggestion system, Kaizen concept are being regularly followed and monitored.
The entire implementation is supported by an external consultant, Gopalakrishna Rao, who has vast experience in this field and served as the Chief of Quality Assurance in TVS Rubbers – one of the leading industries in Madurai.
Support to establish vision centres
Under the Millennium Alliance Project, four hospitals were chosen to get mentored closely to set up and run telemedicine-enabled vision centres successfully in their location. Kisii Eye Hospital, Kisii, Kenya; City Eye Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya; Deep Eye Care Foundation and Grameen Eye Hospitals from Bangladesh are the selected ones. LAICO offers continuous mentoring and technical support to these hospitals and they are expected to open at least one vision centre during the mentorship period of 18 months. It will provide the necessary resource materials, equipment, layout and plan, software for documentation and also train the staff on teleconsultation.
Health Services Research
Ten health services research projects are currently anchored by LAICO.
Total number of publications – 11
Peer-reviewed journals – 10