The Tej Kohli Foundation commits $5 million over next five years for curing corneal blindness
LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), in partnership with Dr May Griffith and her team of scientists from the Linköping University, Sweden, and with the financial backing of Tej Kohli and his Foundation, is proud to announce the inauguration of the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute at LVPEI in Hyderabad. The Centre was inaugurated by ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. Also present was Guest of Honour, KT Rama Rao, Minister for Panchayat Raj & IT, Telangana.
The objective of the partnership is to further invest in the research of new materials and their application techniques to eliminate corneal blindness. Reportedly, working together with the hospital and The Tej Kohli Cornea Institute is world renowned Dr Griffith and her team, leaders in the field of ophthalmic research and the development of innovative new technologies that will allow moving away from relying on cornea donations for transplant surgeries to using synthetic cornea lenses. Research at the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute is also expected to create longer term broader ophthalmic solutions going beyond just corneal blindness, and working on the broader application of materials and technical advances that will take ophthalmology to a new era.
Reportedly, the Tej Kohli Foundation’s support of the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute (TKCI) is a long-term commitment that will move more rapidly towards eliminating the social burden of avoidable blindness. The TKCI will also explore revolutionary medical advances and their wider application across the field of ophthalmology.
According to Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Founder and Chairman, LVPEI, “LV Prasad Eye Institute has created history in the field of Corneal Transplantation by becoming the first single Institute ever in the world to achieve 20,000 corneal transplants across its network. Through the new Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, and with Dr May Griffith and her team, we are now able to go beyond this and explore the use of synthetic lenses. With this new Institute, we hope to enhance our activities significantly both directly and indirectly as well as developing a Global Resource Centre for corneal blindness. This means being able to increase the number of surgeries we can undertake and work towards our own goal of eliminating avoidable blindness. This philanthropic gesture of Mr Kohli opens up all these possibilities.”
“This is a seminal moment for myself and my team as we take the world of ophthalmology into the future. I have tirelessly sought to find new ways that will alleviate the simple forms of blindness, whilst looking at the wider possibilities. With the Tej Kohli Foundation’s long-term financial commitment, we are now in a position to strategically plan for the future, both in terms of the necessary time line research it takes and the evolution of new products and techniques,” said Dr Griffith, Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden.
International businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tej Kohli, Chairman of Kohli Ventures and Founder of the Tej Kohli Foundation said, “The Tej Kohli Foundation has long been committed to the eradication of blindness and with our 2030 plan for eradicating corneal blindness in India, we are aiming to do so within a specific time frame. Operating our own programme of cornea transplants in local communities, has given us a deep understanding of what is needed and what is possible.
This is a natural progression for the Tej Kohli Foundation. We recognise the continuing necessity to not just research new technological advances, but the essential support needed for families and communities that will allow them to embrace a positive future. Currently, for people who are blighted by blindness and other ophthalmic issues, it prevents them from participating in society and for many it means being cast out due to their lack of ability to contribute financially. We must not allow this to continue in the 21st century. It is our duty to step in and support with passion, pride, hard work and a guarantee of financial commitment.”