Report: Fellowship July 2014: Advanced training abroad for MHCECC consultant

Report: Fellowship July 2014: Advanced training abroad for MHCECC consultant
6th December 2015
In 2014, the Consultant in Paediatric Retina and Retinal Dystrophy at the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre, Dr Tapas Ranjan Padhi, undertook a year's Research Fellowship at the Kellogg Eye Center at the University of Michigan, USA.

He took it with Professor John Heckenlively and Professor Cagri Besirli on 01 July 2014. This included two months at the Beaumont Children’s Hospital.

This Fellowship was supported by the MHMT donation of £50,000

The MHCECC gained wide-ranging benefits:
-Improving service delivery
-Bringing new insights to clinical care
-Raising the standard of in-house training
-Elevating the quality of research
-Helping more children!

Here is Dr Tapas's summary of his achievements during his year's Fellowship and their implications for the MHCECC.

Enhancement of skills for treating complex eye conditions related to pediatric retinal disorders: In-depth documentation and evaluation of each and every case in a world class centre provided opportunities for becoming acquainted with many rare disorders referred from all over the world. Surgical skills enhanced by observing some of the best pediatric vitreoretinal surgeons and learning how the latest surgical instruments can simplify many complex pediatric procedures. Projects taken up in Michigan are being extended to LVPEI, Bhubaneswar. This has opened up opportunities for collaboration between the two centres. All this has potential for upgrading the Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre.

Underweight and /or premature babies may be at risk from Retinopathy of Prematurity or under-development of the small blood vessels behind the eye. If untreated soon after birth this could lead to detachment of the retina and blindness. An upgraded tele-screening network based on the one at Beaumont Children’s Hospital can be used to screen all prematurely born babies at risk of ROP throughout the state of Odisha. This will require setting up mobile ROP teams, operating from the newly established secondary centres. When fully operational this could mean saving substantially more children from blindness and low vision.

Networking: Attendance at international conferences meant creating a network with world leaders in pediatric retina who can be accessed for consultation in difficult and complicated cases. Networking will raise the profile of the Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre.

Benefits for parents and children with serious retina disorders: Improvement in rapport with families is very important in helping them understand the implications of myopia and the mental and psychological effects in bringing up children with low vision. A holistic approach is important: treating people and not just the disease. The importance of maintaining checks with the MHCECC has to be stressed, not only for neonatal care but also for genetic counselling to advise families on preventive care and to forecast prognosis; attention to diet and the rate of development; securing the cooperation of teachers for slow learners. As general health improves, the survival rate of babies born with ROP and other congenital diseases will increase.

Human resource training: The aim is to commit to universal eye screening in Odisha so that all diseases of the eye can be detected and treated. This will require training, and there is a great deal from the experience in Michigan which can be passed on to others.

Dr Taraprasad Das, Vice Chair of L V Prasad Eye Institute and specialist in diseases of the retina and vitreous membrane says: “Dr Tapas Padhi greatly impressed his mentors in the United States and he has already contributed papers and articles as a result of the opportunity of studying with the most eminent people in his field. There is no doubt the experience in his Fellowship year will add significantly to his status as a practitioner, a teacher and a researcher.”