Nirmala Gopalakrishnan Center

For Health Care

The center is named after a former Director, SSMI who died of cancer. The major concern of the center is the delivery of health/eye care. SSMI provides community support, SSMI’s work does not cover medical management. SSMI’s role is to work with the community and ensure optimal delivery. Another area of work is health of students studying in schools run by SSMI.

Along with the Dr. Rajinder Prasad Center for Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences SSMI provides comprehensive eye care for low income families residing in slums and villages. SSMI provides school screening for eye care.

Providing comprehensive Eye Care in the slums and screening of school students

A. Comprehensive eye care in the slums

Regular eye clinics and camps are held in different areas to benefit the under-privilaged. Clinics mainly concentrate on refractive errors. Camps are specialized clinics that concentrate on a particular disease, like diabetic retinopathy. Doctors and para medical staff of the R.P.Center AIIMS conduct the medical procedures.

Before holding a clinic or and eye camp SSMI conducts a survey of an area. On the basis of the survey, SSMI identifies twenty volunteers from amongst the residents where the camp is held. The volunteers are given training by the para-medical staff of AIIMS. Volunteers have two responsibilities. 1. To provide post-operative to patients who return after operation, for example after cataract operation and 2. To ensure that the persons requiring treatment attend the clinic/camp. For example, when a camp is held for diabetic retinopathy, volunteers ensure that the diabetics (those having sugar as it is locally known) attend the camp.

SSMI provides spectacle at very low prices or free of cost depending on the paying capacity of the patient.

High Lights of results obtained during the last five years:

Total screen 27,836
Refraction 15,436
Cataract surgery 1,885
School covered 23,146

Operations or specialized treatment is conducted in the hospital. SSMI’s responsibility is to transport the patient.

Need for transporting patients

  • The average age of the patients being transported is 62 years
  • No of patients transported and operated between Jan 2016 – April 2016
    • No of patients operated = 125 patients
    • Average no of operations 31 patients per month
  • During May 2015 to Dec 2015 transportation of patients was stopped.
    • No of patients operated = 60
    • Average no of operations = average 8 per month

It has been observed that the majority of the patients that need both medical treatment and transportation are old women. Old women are considered a liability. Eye care is considered a liability for the limited family resources. It is worth noting that number of patients being operated reduced to one forth when transportation was not provided to the patients.

B. Screening of students in Schools for refraction and eye defects

All students of a school volunteering to be part of the scheme are screened for refraction and any eye defects. Students requiring refractive correction are either given a prescription or provided low cost spectacles. Parents of those requiring treatment are directed to visit the R.P.Center for further treatment.

B. How to enroll in the scheme?

Schools interested to be part of the scheme and have their students screened for refraction and eye defects and NGOs and other wanting to organize a camp/clinic may contact Ms. Viajaylakshmi Bharadwaj at or 28313555.

Partners: The program is delivered in partnership with

Vision for All
Vision for All (VFA) – is a Swiss based organization. VFA was started in 2001 by Dr. Andre Mermoud and is actively engaged in many humanitarian projects in ophthalmology. The objectives of VFA is to create and sustain ophthalmic centers and improve existing structures, to support the trained medical and paramedical personnel in ophthalmology, dentistry and to promote the prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of pathologies. VFA is working in India and Central Africa. The slogan of VFA is: “One sees clearly only with the heart, the essential is invisible to the eye"

All India Institute of Medical Sciences – Dr. R.P Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences (AIIMS) – the most prestigious hospital cum research institution in India.

Support required for the Eye project

The support required is in the form of a one-time capital expenditure:
• Equipments •
• Transport Vehicle (7 seats) - to transport patients •
• Mobile eye and dental clinic •

Health care provided to students studying in SSMI schools

SSMI provides medical doctor during school hours. Medical care is provided to the students and patients.

An Annual physical checkup is conducted for each child and their records maintained. A health record for every child for the last 10 years is available. This record is being digitalized, which will be given to every student on their graduation.

Support needed for SSMI School student health project

• Medicines (At present only emergency medicines are provided) and •
• Digitization of the records •