On the last day on my recent visit to Sindh, I decided to visit, what was known as "Eye Hospital, Hyderabad" when I used to study in Liaquat Medical college and was posted for our ophthalmology studies. But now, that eye hospital is no more an eye hospital, it has evolved into a teaching and research Institute. The slow evolution took a giant leap when Prof Dr Khalid Talpur took over the reigns of the hospital. He changed the previous 'eye hospital' into a highly specialized "Sindh Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (SIOVS). At SIOVS, they now produce not just specialists eye doctors but also ophthalmologists fully trained in subspecialties - one such subspecialty section I visited was 'Pediatric Ophthalmology'.
Kudos to Prof Dr Khalid Talpur, who is one of the very few FRCS ophthalmologist in Sindh, except Karachi. After doing his FRCS, he could have easily stayed over in UK or migrated to other greener pastures, but he decided to come back to Hyderabad, Sindh, and serve his people. His dedication has now borne fruits in shape of SIOVS!
Most of the public sector hospitals are not really clean and standard of healthcare delivery has sharply gone down in rural Sindh like a nosedive in the recent years. The SIOVS is an exception and a success story! It is kept spotlessly clean, hygienic and follows all SOPs and protocols very rigidly. I had to follow these when I went to the operating rooms for having a look. Wards, corridors were spotlessly clean and nice landscaping could be seen in small garden within the premises of the institute. All because of the dedication of one man - Prof Dr Khalid Talpur. He is the third medical doctor I have come across in the recent times who have dedicated their lives to serve the people of Sindh. First of these is of course, Dr Adeebul Hassan Rizvi, who runs public sector Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation in Karachi (SIUT) - one of the best in Asia. The second medical doctor, I came across in recent times, is Dr Rahim Bux Bhatti, who lifted a unknown public sector Taluka Hospital of Gambat to the level of the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) and is now planning to carry out much needed liver transplantations; and the third doctor is none other than Prof Khalid Talpur, who has completely revolutionized the ordinary eye hospital to a teaching, training and research institute! It is not just clean and hygienic public sector health care teaching and delivery institution, but also equipped with the state of the art ophthalmologic equipments with trained operators and lab technicians. Literally hundreds of adult and pediatric surgeries are done here everyday! And all free of cost!
SIOVS is the first and the only autonomous public sector eye institute in Pakistan with the state of the art diagnostic facilities and OT Complex. SIOVS hospital has three Wards namely, 1 2 and 3; an OPD (Out Patient Department) having Glaucoma, Retina and Pediatric Ophthalmology clinics, Operation Theaters Complex; a Scientific Ophthalmic Research Laboratory, Low vision aid clinic and a clinical pathology laboratory. The Scientific Ophthalmic Research & Diagnosis Laboratory is the state of the art Research & Diagnostic Laboratory considered to be one of the best research laboratory in the field Ophthalmology in Pakistan equipped with the latest diagnostic and therapeutic equipment integrated with latest software tools. The Scientific Ophthalmic Research Laboratory is currently provides services in the fields of Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA), Digital Slit Photography, A, B Scan and UBM Scan, ophthalmologic Topography, Keratometry, Perimetry, Pachymetry, Argon Laser, Yag Laser, Autorefractometry, Airpuf Tonometery, Synopthophore for squint assessment, Low Vision Aid as well as Pathological Investigations.
Funding of the institute comes from both government and private sector. Among private sector, notable contribution has come from Australian NGO, which funds the pediatric ophthalmology section. But these funds are not enough. More funds are needed from NGOs, philanthropists, and other agencies to make this institute serve better. When there is transparency and dedication by the doctors running the institute, we shouldn't stop giving out some contributions. In this particular case, like SIUT and GIMS, we have no excuses. SIOVS needs funds and if we have some extra money, we must contribute SIOVS for the welfare of the patients of Sindh.