The Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust is committed to contributing to the elimination of avoidable childhood blindness in partnership with the L V Prasad Eye Institute through the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre, reflecting and perpetuating Miriam's own values, and practice of caring, generosity and universality.
There is now an average of 10,000 Outpatients appointments per year (25% without charge) and 1,000 surgeries per year (50% without charge) at the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre. There has been a steady increase in the numbers of patients seen every year, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall progress has therefore been significant.
Here is a history of the MHMT's projects supporting the expansion of services at the MHCECC
- 2009: The paediatric ocular oncology facility opened, with 12 cases presenting with retinoblastoma. The service progressed steadily, maximising convenience and minimising distress for patients and their families. Hundreds of children have now been treated for eye cancer there. In many cases, vision was restored and lives were saved, with a 75% to 80% five year survival rate. Every child who has an eye removed to save life is cosmetically rehabilitated.
- 2010: A RetCam Shuttle was acquired, detecting pathological conditions of the retina, particularly in premature babies. Without timely treatment, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) leads to irreversible blindness. Since 2010 the MHCECC RetCam has been used to screen over a thousand pre-term babies, and hundreds have had their sight saved.
- The mobile unit makes it possible to capitalise on the portable RetCam Shuttle, transporting it to maternity units and clinics, and bringing babies and their families to the MHCECC for laser treatment. The vehicle is also invaluable in the MHCECC's Outreach Programme.
- 2011: The MHMT Operating Room was upgraded, resulting in a 50% increase in examinations under anaesthesia and approximately 10% increase in surgeries.
- 2011: We donated a specular microscope, enabling corneal transplants. Corneal conditions result in 4% of child blindness in India. An additional donation was used for specialist training and testing. Approximately 15 paediatric corneal transplants are performed every year in the MHCECC.
- 2012: The MHMT donated the cost of a Glaucoma Unit. Glaucoma is a disease where the optic nerve is progressively and irreversibly damaged by increased pressure inside the eyeball, leading to blindness. Early diagnosis and treatment is resulting in successful management.
- 2013: The MHMT supported an MHCECC consultant to receive advanced training abroad for one year. The wide-ranging benefits include improved service delivery, raised standards of in-house training and research, and enhancement of the Centre's international relevance. LVPEI identified MHCECC retina specialist, Dr Tapas Ranjan Padhi, to take up a year's fellowship at the University of Michigan, USA with Professor John Heckenlively and Professor Cagri Besirli. There is a sound base for the MHCECC to expand the ROP programme to five districts in Odisha. This is a significant step towards eliminating avoidable blindness. Dr Tapas says, "We have not come across a single baby that has become blind because of ROP in Bhubaneswar in the last three years. We are in the process of achieving the same in the peripheral districts of Odisha and some day will achieve our mission of ZERO ROP BLIND from Odisha." Read more here.
- 2015: We donated a cryostat - a machine that cuts waiting time for tissue sample results from five days to fifteen minutes, so that only one surgical procedure is necessary, with many benefits.
- The MHCECC's Outreach Programme, screening in maternity units, schools, slums and remote, under-resourced areas is a priority. The Outreach Programme screens on average 1,000 school and slum children per year, and scans the retinas of average 400 premature babies for ROP, all without charge. Children are screened for refractive error (long- or short-sightedness), correctable squint and other conditions.
The total transferred to the MHCECC within the L V Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar, since 2008 is over £400,000.
Dr Taraprasad Das, Director of the L V Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar, says: "Every time a child is treated at the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre her memory is invoked and her spirit lives on through those children whose sight is restored in her name."