Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology, Jesse Berry, MD, and Co-Chief Resident, Philip Storey, MD, were fortunate enough to spend a week at the Srikiran Institute of Ophthalmology in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India. Sankurathri Foundation was established by Dr. Chandrasekhar Sankurathri as a memorial to his wife, Manjari Sankurathri, son, Srikiran and daughter, Sarada who were killed in a terrorist bombing of Air India Flight 182 (Kanishka) on 23rd June 1985. The Foundation’s main mission is to empower the poor through better education, eye care and timely help to the needy. Drs. Berry and Storey assisted patients in the clinic, performed various OR procedures, conducted outreach, and enjoyed the local cuisine. Here is the fifth day of their journey:
Day 5 at Srikiran
Today is founders day in celebration of Dr. Chandra’s birthday, his son’s birthday (who would have been 30 today) and the founding of the Eye Hospital in his name. To commemorate, the eye hospital is holding a blood drive. The Kakinada area has been suffering from a shortage of blood for the past year and to give back they hold blood drives on special occasions and nearly 100% of the employees donate to give back to the community. I donated as well to show the solidarity USC has with Srikiran and as a mark of our relationship with them! They check your weight and hemoglobin first (by making sure a drop of your blood sinks in liquid!) and then everyone gathers around you and takes your picture while you donate – its crazy but fun and for a good cause!
After the donation we had clinic and met a child with an inborn error of metabolism causing hypoglycemia and a cataract. She was referred to a pediatrician for care and management and we signed her up for cataract surgery with Dr. Avinash. After the clinic we spent the evening exploring the gorgeous, ornate jewelry shops of India and enjoying a lovely dinner of multiple delicious Indian curries and delicacies and ended with ross malai for dessert.
Back at Srikiran it is calm and serene, but just outside the gates there is a festival of Indian music and laughter from people dancing filled the air into the wee hours of the night and could be heard and enjoyed from inside the compound.
Read about the final day of their adventure here
Dr. Jesse Berry is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Associate Residency Program Director at LAC+USC Medical Center. She is residency and fellowship trained and a member of the Society of Heed Fellows.