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The Role of Female Empowerment in World-Class Eye Care

October 22, 2014

Huffington Post/by Harish Kilaru

The world's largest provider of eye care isn't located in Boston or San Francisco. Situated in the small town of Madurai in southern India, Aravind Eye Hospital performs sixty percent as many eye surgeries as the entire National Health Service of the United Kingdom, with half the complication rate and less than one percent of the cost. Sixty percent of Aravind's surgeries are free or ultra-subsidized, and it still maintains impressive margins. I had the incredible privilege to spend ten days observing in Madurai last June.

Strolling through the pale blue halls of the hospital, there is no futuristic technology separating Aravind from its competitors. The layout and equipment of the clinic appear ordinary, but the striking difference is the employees. Women dressed in vibrant saris (traditional Indian dress) decisively move through the hospital. Each "sister" holds a distinct role, but a persona appears common. Each sari is precisely tied, hair styled in a tight bun, and no jewelry is worn. More prominent than outward appearance is the confidence and purpose carried by each sister. Walking between wards, everything is controlled by these women. They guide the blind, comfort the families, create the glasses, andmonitorpatient flow. The physicians diagnose and operate -- the nurses do everything else........... [Read More]

(The views expressed above are the personal views of writer)

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