In January 2009 the MHMT transferred £50,000 to equip an ocular cancer facility within the MHCECC, saving children's lives as well as their sight. On the first anniversary of the inauguration of the MHCECC (3rd July, 2009) the cancer facility became fully operational.
In 2009 fundraising was focused on acquiring a RetCam which takes images of the retina, at back of the eye. The incidence of vision disorders in the retina is high, second only to cataract, making this equipment so essential.
The RetCam Shuttle was installed in the MHCECC in June 2010, and in July, on the second anniversary of the opening of the MHCECC, BLVPEI hosted a Neonatal Ophthalmology Convention to demonstrate the RetCam and promote referrals to the MHCECC.
We have capitalised on this considerable investment by acquiring a modified Mobile Unit so that the portable RetCam Shuttle can be transported safely to the local maternity hospital twice a week to screen premature and underweight babies for detached retina. The rest of the week the Mobile Unit carries equipment to test the eyesight of children in isolated villages and slum areas where children are unlikely to be attending school. If necessary, spectacles are supplied without charge. The Mobile Unit displays the name of the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre to publicise accessibility of local eye care services.
Our next project was the upgrade of the MHMT Operating Room. The equipment has now been installed. There is an additional anesthesia station, an ultrasound scanner, a baby warmer and a mounted microscopic camera with accompanying computer and software.
We raised funds for a specular microscope that is especially useful for cornea transplant and Miriam's friend, Marc Rubinstein secured a donation of $5000 from Goldman Sachs Gives to train technicians in the use of the Specular Microscope. We helped to expand the paediatric Glaucoma Unit, and in 2013 the MHMT raised £50,000 to support an MHCECC consultant to receive advanced training abroad for one year. The wide-ranging benefits to the MHCECC's 500-mile catchment area include improved service delivery, raised standards of in-house training and research, and enhancement of the Centre's international relevance.
LVPEI identified MHCECC retina specialist, Dr Tapas Ranjan Padhi, to take up a year's fellowship at the University of Michigan, USA with Professor John Heckenlively and Professor Cagri Besirli. The fellowship started in July 2014.
In 2015 the MHMT transferred £20,000 for a cryostat - a machine that cuts waiting time for tissue sample results from five days to fifteen minutes, with many benefits.
The MHMT is now supporting the MHCECC's Outreach Programme, taking screening to remote, tribal and slum areas, reaching children who would not otherwise access the eye care services they need.
Eye screening in the rural and mountainous district of Rayagada is now a priority and the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust supports the Rayagada Child Sight Programme through one of the five secondary centres recently established / soon to be operational in Odisha. Comprehensive eye care services, including simple surgery, fully equipped, community-based rehabilitation, pharmacy, optics etc. will be locally available to children with identified eye care needs.
The high incidence of tribal children identified as needing eye care services in the city of Bhubaneswar has prompted a survey of tribal children within their own settlements in remote areas where even basic medical needs are difficult to access or treat. Projections suggest that 15% of the children screened in Rayagada (approximately 19,000 individuals) will be identified with eye care problems in need of treatment, ranging from provision of spectacles to complex surgery, which will be referred to the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre in Bhubaneswar, or Hyderabad.
A survey of the ocular status of the children and the provision of necessary eye care services will make a significant contribution to the eradication of childhood blindness in the Rayagada region of Odisha. The programme will serve as a model for gradually extending screening throughout Odisha.
The MHMT worked with independent film company, KTF Films (www.ktffilms.com), who documented three positive responses to the terrorist attacks in New York, London and Bali. Miriam's sister, Esther Hyman, filmed with them at the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre in March 2009, and they recorded more footage in London in November. The feature-length documentary entitled "Love Hate Love" was premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2011 and had its US television premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network as part of their "Super Soul Sunday" programming in March 2012. In July 2012 the MHMT launched the Love Hate Love UK community screening campaign, giving people the chance to bring it to their own community audiences.
In 2015, the MHMT launches Miriam's legacy, "Miriam's Vision: A Response to the 2005 London Bombings". This unique set of lesson plans and accompanying materials is based on Miriam's story and makes reference to her memorial, the MHCECC. Our current fundraising efforts are supporting this project. Read more here.
Ocular cancer patient with parents
The multi-purpose mobile unit
Love Hate Love poster