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Vision Excellence Awards: Taraprasad Das

Dr. Taraprasad Das

Dr. Taraprasad Das, TP to his friends, is currently Vice-Chair of the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), India, and Regional Chair for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). He is also the Chairman, Universal Eye Health, Odisha (India), and Vice President, Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Das joined LVPEI in the year 1990 as Head of Retina Services and was instrumental in developing retina services in the Institute. He has played a pivotal role in establishing the LVPEI Eye Care Network in Odisha, comprising one Tertiary Care, four Secondary Care, and eleven Primary Care Centres.

In his capacity as Regional Chair of IAPB, Dr. Das has raised funding support of half a million USD and worked with multiple countries and communities in South-East Asia, including the Rohingya refugees. As the current Chair of the Universal Eye Health Program – Government of Odisha, India, he plays a key role in the advancement of primary eye care services in the State, and capacity building initiatives of the Allied Ophthalmic Personnel (AOP) wherein the Government of Odisha has committed USD 100 million. As President of VISION 2020 India (2017-2020), he has raised significant funding support from the Indian ophthalmic industry for skill-based training of AOPs.

Dr. Taraprasad Das was a member of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust – Task Force in India from 2014-2019 and has helped roll-out the Diabetic Retinopathy Program in ten states of India. He also spearheaded the SPEED (Spectrum of Eye Disease in Diabetes) study. He collated and published diabetic retinopathy data of over 11,000 people from 14 large eye care facilities spread across the country.

Dr. Das is actively involved in several advocacy initiatives at International, National, and State levels. His key assignments with the Word Health Organization (WHO) include working as Consultant with their regional office as well as the Head Quarters in Geneva; Chair, Writing Committee for ‘Strengthening diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy in the South-East Asia Region’ WHO, SEARO, 2020 (ISBN 978-92-9022-794-6); and the recent ‘Strengthening capacities and technical acumen on Integrated People-Centred Eye Care, Diabetic Retinopathy, Low Vision, and Corneal Blindness’ project.

Dr. Taraprasad Das was Chief Editor of the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology (1999- 2005) and was appreciated for his seminal contribution to translational research and infectious endophthalmitis. He has to his credit 289 peer-reviewed journal articles, 51 Book chapters and 11 Books (Author/editor), 21 Eponymous lectures, and 18 Research grants.

The Government of India bestowed Dr. Das with the fourth highest Civilian Honour ‘Padmashri’ in 2013. He was also awarded ‘Doctorate of Science (Honoris causa)’ by the Ravenshaw University, India, and has been inducted as a Fellow – National Academy of Medical Science (NAMS), India, and a Fellow – Academy of Asia Pacific Professors in Ophthalmology (AAPPO).

Dr. Das is passionate about traveling and writing and has published two books – ‘Flights of Bumblebee – A journey in compassionate eye care’ and ‘One Life for Love’ (a collection of poems on love and life).