Friday, October 15, 2010

Dr.NAMPERUMALSAMY – THE VISIONARY OF THE BLINDS

Perumalsamy Namperumalsamy is an Indian ophthalmologist who specializes in diabetic retinopathy. He is also a a retina-vitreous expert. Namperumalsamy is currently the chairman of Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai. He is known for bringing assembly-line efficiency to eye surgery. In 2010, TIME magazine named Namperumalsamy one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Dr. Namperumalsamy has always been aware of the public health issues plaguing his native country. After graduating with a medical degree from the University of Madras in 1963, he decided to continue his studies to specialize in ophthalmology. Upon receiving his master’s degree in 1970, he left his native country temporarily to acquire the necessary training in the field that had become his passion.
After his studies, Dr. Namperumalsamy went to the United States to refine his skills in various highly specialized areas of ophthalmology and then taught in several institutions in North America and India. In 1971, he opened his first eye care facility for visually impaired Indians and joined the team of his brother-in-law, Dr. Venkataswamy, at the Aravind Eye Hospital where he is now president.

Under the chairmanship of Namperumalsamy, Aravind Eye Hospital, received the 2010 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, which is awarded annually to an organization that does extraordinary work to alleviate human suffering.

A postgraduate fellow of the University of Illinois, Chicago, Namperumalsamy started the India’s first Low Vision Aid Centre at the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai in 1971. He is currently the chairman of Aravind Eye Hospital. Namperumalsamy is a reciepient of Padma Shri Award from the Government of India.

AWARDS & HONORS
“RUSTOM RANJI ORATION GOLD MEDAL” by Andhra State Ophthalmic Conference “CLOSED VITRECTOMY”, October 1982.
Dr. P. SIVA REDDY ORATION GOLD MEDAL, RECENT CONCEPTS on AETIOLOGY and MANAGEMENT in EALES DISEASE All India Ophthalmological Conference Kanpur in 1986.
Dr.JOSEPH GNANADICKAM MEMORIAL GOLD MEDAL ORATION RHEGMATOGENOUS RETINAL DETACHMENT MANAGEMENT Madras State Ophthalmic Association Conference Pondicherry 1986.
“PARASNATH SINHA GOLD MEDAL ORATION” on PRESENT STATUSof PARS PLANA SURGERY at Bihar Ophthalmological Society and Third Eastern Zone Ophthalmological Conference, Patna 1987.
“C.S. RESHMI AWARD” for BEST VIDEO FILM PRESENTATION at the 46th All India Ophthalmological Conference, Bombay 1988.
PADMABHUSHAN DR.P.SIVA REDDYS ENDOWNMENT BEST TEACHER AWARD on 12th September 1998 at Hyderabad by the Andhra Pradesh Academic Sciences.
MOST OUTSTANDING RETINAL SURGEON OF THE MILLENNIUM presented by the Executive Committee of “Eye Advance 2000″, Bombay, September 2000.
INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES of PROCTOR FOUNDATION – recognized by Proctor Foundation, USA.
Award for DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO HUMANITY – by Tamilnadu Senior Citizens & Pensioners Welfare Association II State Conference, Coimbatore, May 2002.
DR.R.V.RAJAM ORATION AWARD – on “DIABETIC RETINOPATHY- AN EMERGING PROBLEM IN INDIA” at the 43rd Annual Conference of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) at Jaipur, April 2004.

In less time than it takes to read this magazine, a simple surgery can give a blind person her eyesight back.

A miracle? Absolutely. But Dr. Perumalsamy Namperumalsamy, 70, and his army of cataract fixers at India’s Aravind Eye Care Hospitals make it look easy. The surgery has been around for decades, but the chairman of Aravind Eye Hospital which was founded in 1976 with the goal of bringing assembly-line efficiency to health care, figured out how to replace cataracts safely and quickly: 3.6 million surgeries to date, a new one every 15 minutes.

Equally brilliant is the business model: the 30% of patients who can afford to pay subsidize free or low-cost care for the 70% who are poor. “All people have a right to sight,” Namperumalsamy says. As I write these words after a long day spent in the slums in India, I cannot tell you how much admiration I have for him and his team. I’ll say he is the right person to give sight for the blind.

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