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WALKATHON ORGANIZED BY SILIGURI GREATER LIONS EYE HOSPITAL

BY SILIGURI TIMES CORRESPONDENT Nov 14, 2017

700 STEPS TOWARDS DIABETES PREVENTION

On the occasion of World Diabetes Day, Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital organized a Walkathon to create awareness against Diabetes and the causing health hazard particularly affecting eye sight in Siliguri.

The 2 kilometer walk was organized from city’s identity landmark the Lion’s Clock Tower at Panitanki More on Sevoke Road and ended at the hospital behind Vishal Cinema. The programme was inaugurated from the auspicious hands of Deputy Inspector General SSB Mr. A.K Nath who waved of the flag to commence the walk under presence of Lion P.K Shah, Lion SukritMitra, Praveen Jhawar, Suresh Sinhaland other members from Lions Club of Siliguri Greater, Femina and Youth.

This year particularly, the World Diabetes Day was dedicated to the women who are more vulnerable to eye ailments due to diabetes. On the occasion addressing the crowd Dr. Rajesh Saini CEO, Greater Lions Hospital said “Women are more vulnerable and requires special attention also because they often are neglected and have to depend on their father, husband or other family members to access health care. She is mostly denied and enjoys lesser control over her own health hence men have to equally participate to ensure her better health care. Woman as home makers if aware can create a healthy lifestyle around the family and hence the community providing healthy diet and imbibe an active lifestyle into the young ones. Hence, woman being aware can participate in a big way contributing towards family wellbeing and avoiding Diabetes in the society”.

More than 600 people participated in the walk which became a spectacle with people from different walks of life, students from different schools, and many institutions some of which are Seema Suraksha Bal(SSB), National Cadet Corps(NCC), Sahamormee Welfare, National Service Scheme, Suryasen Mahavidyalaya, Suryanagar Samaj Kalyan, Mahila Mahavidyalaya, Indian Red Cross, Child Line, Baghajatin Atheletics, Munshi Premchand College, Press Club participating and voicing together for this joint movement against Diabetes.

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With placards in their hands and voicing together with slogans like Diabetes can cause blindness,the event turned head of every passerby to take attention. Addressing the Media Lion Sukrit Mitra said “A walk represents a healthy lifestyle which needs promotion to avoid Diabetes. Yes, Diabetes is not the end of life. It is avoidable and early diagnosis and treatment is the key for it”.

Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital started the Diabetes awareness drive from November 10th with the beginning of 8 free diabetes awareness camps at Bidhan Road, S.F. Road, Champasari bazar, Hatimore, Tilaksadhu more, Gatebazar, Haiderpara and Salugara.

During the campaign altogether 2260 people were screened for Diabetes of which 492 people were diagnosed with the same. Among the diabetics 50% of the people didn’t knew they had diabetes and never discussed or felt the necessity to get themselves under check.

The campaign would continue with the hospital providing 25% off on Retina Diagnostics since Diabetes affect the Retina of the eyes most. The programme was organized with support from Sight Savers and  Radio Misty as the media partner.

To commemorate the programme and make the movement sustainable and stressing on the necessity of awareness, early diagnosis and treatment reaching to the community in large the hospital with technical support from Operation Eyesight International launched its Community Based Diabetic Retinopathy programme in the evening in presence of Assistant Director, Operational Eyesight International Anup Zimba. During the programme exchange of the memorandum of association was exchanged and beginning of the programme was declared. The programme would work towards awareness generation and ensuring early diagnosis, awareness generation and treatment for people with Diabetic Retinopathy.

Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital has been pivotal in bringing eye care into people’s consciousness and priority, overcome ignorancealready prevalent and in providing accessibility to eye care stressing on regular check-up and early diagnosis as the key to save vision.

Since inception in 1981, it is not only the oldest but also the biggest eye care institution in North Bengal today catering its services to more than 1.5 lakh people every year. The organization facilitates accessibility to holistic eye care services through 14 Vision Centres that are spread in an area span of 200 kilometers across North Bengal by bringing masses under a system that stresses on creating awarenessinhavinginformed choices in accessing eye care services.

Today, with a committed team and super specialty infrastructure it has created a strong referral system including community stakeholders, influencers, duty bearers, hospitals, impaneled doctors to ensure early interception and so that no one is left ignored from the holistic umbrella of quality eye care. As a charity organization Siliguri Greater Lions Eye Hospital provides 60% of its services free of cost to ensure that everyone in need is availed with quality eye care in time.

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