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Comprehensive Vision Care Access

Aravind Eye Hospital Combats Needless Blindness in Rural India

— October 3, 2010 — Social Good
Aravind Eye Hospital, based in Madurai, India, aims to combat needless blindness in rural India. Founded in 1976 by Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy, Aravind now is an entire system that includes five hospitals, three managed eye hospitals, a global research foundation, a manufacturing center for eye care products and a training center.

What started as a hospital with 11 beds has now progressed into what Aravind’s website says is “the largest and most productive eye care facility in the world.” With a total of 3,590 beds, 2.5 million patients and 300,000 annual operations, the numbers say it all.

Today, Aravind Eye Hospital has evolved beyond its humble beginnings and is a self-sustaining social business that uses modern technology and a compassionate philosophy to offer an alternative to the efforts of the government to provide adequate health services to the population at large.

Aravind Eye Hospital directly acknowledges the possible challenges in developing areas including, population growth, low per capita income, disease, illiteracy and underdeveloped infrastructure.

Dr. Venkataswamy, who is also known as simply, Dr. V, has won numerous awards for his astounding work, including the Hellen Keller International Award and the Padmashree award from the Government of India. The Aravind system is so successful that even Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus has noticed. In 2008, the Grameen Green Children Eye Hospital opened, modeled explicitly after the Aravind Eye Hospitals. And why wouldn’t anyone model itself after such a flourishing enterprise? Aravind has less than 1 percent of India’s ophthalmic workforce, but performs over 5 percent of the country’s ophthalmic surgeries.

Thanks to founder Dr. V, the Aravind Eye Hospital operates under a spirituality of service. “We strive to forget our limitations and work with the direction of the Divine Will, not in a vain superficial way but with a deep commitment and faith that guidance comes from a higher level of consciousness,” says Dr. V on the genesis of the Aravind Eye Hospital.

Contact Information:
Aravind Eye Hospital Website
Aravind Eye Hospital [Madurai]
1, Anna Nagar, Madurai - 625 020
Tamilnadu, India
Telephone: +91-452-435 6100
Fax: +91-452-253 0984
Trend Themes
1. Comprehensive Vision Care - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Develop advanced technologies and compassionate philosophies to provide comprehensive vision care in underserved areas.
2. Self-sustaining Social Business - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Create business models that combine social impact with financial sustainability to address healthcare needs in developing areas.
3. Alternative Healthcare Solutions - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Create alternative healthcare solutions to supplement government efforts in providing adequate health services to underserved populations.
Industry Implications
1. Healthcare - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Integrate technology and compassionate approaches to revolutionize the healthcare industry in underserved areas.
2. Medical Technology - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Develop advanced medical technologies and manufacturing centers to improve access to eye care products in rural regions.
3. Social Enterprise - Disruptive innovation opportunity: Establish sustainable social enterprises that focus on providing essential healthcare services to underserved communities.
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