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LVPEI Whitathon - Run to Raise Awareness at People's Plaza, Necklace Road, Hyderabad

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Hyderabad, May 20, 2018: To raise awareness on early detection of eye cancer(Retinoblastoma) in children, L V Prasad Eye institute (LVPEI) is organized the first "WHITATHON" Run, to commemorate the World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week, observed from May 13-19, 2018, on Sunday at Necklace Road.

Retinoblastoma, most commonly (90%) affects children below 3 years of age. 20 to 25% cases of eye cancer worldwide in children are from India, and 50% of cases worldwide lose their lives due to late detection and inadequate treatment.

The Run was flagged off by Mr Anjani Kumar, IPS, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad City, from People's Plaza, Necklace Road. Also present were Dr. G. N. Rao, Chair, LVPEI and Dr. Swathi Kaliki, Ocular Oncologist & Head - Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer, LVPEI. The run was in four categories of 3K Fun Run; 5K (Untimed Run); 5K (Timed Run) & 10K (Timed Run). The funds raised from the Whitathon Run will be utilized for treating poor children suffering from Retinoblastoma, free of cost, and to provide resources for future research, to explore new treatment options for this alarming disease. The eventwas supported by the Hyderabad Runners Society, the torchbearers of community running in Hyderabad.

Dr Swathi Kaliki, Ocular Oncologist and Head - Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer at L V Prasad Eye Institute says, "Every day 4 children are diagnosed with eye cancer in India and worldwide, 50 per cent children with retinoblastoma die because of late detection. It is critical to create awareness on the importance of early detection of the disease, so that no child dies of eye cancer needlessly, and our children enjoy better chances of eye and vision preservation."Early diagnosis can help save the eye through chemotherapy and focal treatment, thus saving the life, eye, and the vision of the child. Over the past decade, LVPEI has treated 1500+ patients with retinoblastoma eye cancer, most of them being children less than 5 years of age, and of that 60% were treated free of cost.

She further adds, that the incidence of the disease is 1 in 18,000 live births. It is time to make detailed eye check-ups a part of mandatory paediatric examinations. Parents and physicians should be educated about symptoms which could otherwise be easily dismissed as an infection. There is a need for increased awareness about this life-threatening disease among parents.

About L V Prasad Eye Institute

The L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) was established in 1987 at Hyderabad as a not-for-profit, non-government, public-spirited, comprehensive eye care institution. LVPEI is governed by two trusts: the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation. The Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Centre for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. LVPEI has ten active arms to its areas of operations: Clinical Services, Education, Research, Vision Rehabilitation, Rural and Community Eye Health, Eye Banking, Advocacy and Policy Planning, Capacity Building, Innovation and Product Development.

The LVPEI pyramidal model of eye care delivery currently includes a Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad, 3 tertiary centres in Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, 18 secondary and 171 primary care vision centres that cover the remotest rural areas in the four states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka. For further information, visit the Institute’s website, www.lvpei.org

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