Doctor brings laurels to Arunachal

[ Dodum Yangfo ]
ITANAGAR, Nov 19: In a proud moment for the state’s medical fraternity, and the state as a whole, Dr Lobsang Tsetim received the prestigious BMJ (British Medical Journal) South Asia Award-2017 on Saturday.
Union MoS for Health & Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey presented the award in a glittering function held in New Delhi.
The BMJ Awards South Asia recognises individuals and teams that have ‘demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the practice of medicine in the South Asian region’. Along with Dr Tsetim, several stalwarts received the award on the occasion.
Hailing from a hamlet with humble background, Dr Tsetim is a native of Mangam village in Lumla subdivision of Tawang district.
Receiving the award is a big step in his journey as an ophthalmologist. It speaks volumes about the work that he has been doing, undeterred by the unique challenges in a state like Arunachal Pradesh.
Dr Tsetim, who is the Head of the Department of ophthalmology at Rama Krishna Mission Hospital in Itanagar for the last 13 years, was selected by eminent juries from reputed institutes of UK, India and South Asia – from over 2000 nominations – through rigorous scrutiny procedures.
This recognition was for his role in the outreach surgical eye camps in Arunachal Pradesh, which is a collaborative approach by Rama Krishna Mission Hospital and Light for the World, Austria. Through this comprehensive eye care programme, hundreds of blind people in far-flung areas of the state have had their sights restored.
Arunachal Pradesh is a huge state in terms of area, and has very limited trained human resources in terms of eye care. The state lacks basic eye care facility at the primary level. Across its 21 districts, only 11 facilities (covering eight districts) have surgical eye care and basic diagnostic equipment. People from far-off areas are unable to travel to places that have such facilities, due to geographical difficulties and low economic status.
Though a discouraged modality by the National Programme for Control of Blindness, the outreach surgical eye camps are relevant and are the only way to provide free and quality service to the hundreds of blinds in the state.
The award comes to Dr Tsetim – a product of Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya – at the right moment as Arunachal Pradesh is celebrating 40 years of the VKV’s foundation in the state.