A fellowship programme that will enable young ophthalmologists to train at leading eye health centres has been unveiled by Sightsavers India.
The programme will take 10 trainees through a course of mentorship and practical work, to enable them to improve their skills and give them an introduction to rural eye health work in India.
The initiative was launched by Bollywood star Kabir Bedi, Sightsavers India’s honorary brand ambassador, at an event in Delhi. Also present at the launch were Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper and Dr SY Quraishi, honorary chairman of Sightsavers India.
Caroline Harper said: “The fellowship programme is a first-of-its-kind initiative that will give young ophthalmologists an opportunity to learn from the best names at the most respected eye care training hospitals.”
The shortlisted fellows will be placed in one of eight states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Odisha – with the aim of improving eye care facilities in rural areas. The two-year fellowship programme will enable them to work alongside experienced ophthalmologists to improve both their clinical and life skills.
Sightsavers India CEO RN Mohanty said: “The programme’s vision is to cultivate a capable and competent workforce in eye care for rural India. At the moment there are only 18,000 ophthalmologists in India, which is nowhere near enough given the population in the country. Sightsavers’ programme aims to train motivated young people to help them transform into exceptionally skilled ophthalmologists.”