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Dr. Mehul Shah

Medical Director
Retina, Drashti Netralaya
Chakalia Road

Brief Biography:

Ophthalmologists couple Dr. Mehul Shah, an M.S. in ophthalmology, specialized in the field of Retina and Vitreous from Sankara Netralaya, Chennai, and Dr. Shreya Shah, Pediatric ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic surgeon, both pursuing the intension of service to poor and dedication, and being an inhabitant of Dahod, falling in the second largest tribal belt of India, felt the need to initiate similar work like Sankara Nethralaya in their hometown and its neighboring villages before 20years (May-1991),. Both of them started a clinic “Drashti Netralaya”, with the help of meager amount from parents and bank loan for purchase of basic instruments before 19 years (March-1992). Work started as private practitioners, keeping the actual goal in mind. Saturday’s were devoted as free days with the literal meaning “free from cost”. People slowly started recognizing the work. Eventually Saturday’s came to be recognized as “Ophthalmic Mission Activity”. The requirement of free services increased day by day and need was felt to extend it to Fridays too by the end of a year. Work proceeded for 6 years (up to May-1998) in this similar routine and a basic infrastructural unit was developed which could handle 5 to 6 cataract surgeries per day with intraocular lens implantation by phaco emulsification machine. Over the years people recognized this work and started donating to this noble cause and thus emerged a need to register these activities.
3 June 1999 marked a new beginning into this venture for the actual goal as OPHTHALMIC MISSION TRUST received its registration certificate from Gujarat Government. They worked as private practitioners from Mondays to Thursdays and for Ophthalmic Mission Trust on Fridays and Saturdays for 2 years. Surprisingly, at end of these 2 years work profile stating that 60% of work was for Ophthalmic Mission Trust (Charitable Work) out of 33% of weekdays! (Fridays and Saturdays) So looking at the need of their free services a major decision of conversion of private hospital to a non-profitable charitable organization took place on 1 April-2001. They donated their private income and flourishing practice to trust and since then they became paid servants of Ophthalmic Mission Trust. Drashti Netralaya is now a charitable organization founded by two eye care professionals with the intention to make the economically backward rural tribal area “Avoidable and Treatable blindness free” named Dahod at eastern border of Gujarat India since last 20 years. There are having backlog of 3,92,000 eye surgeries in three districts they are working with. Drashti Netralaya is working in accordance with Government and they are working with district governance sharing common goals and strategies to eliminate avoidable blindness. Gujarat state government and National Government contribute financially, technically and in terms of human resources. Many individuals, national NGOs and International NGOs, as donors are supporting this organization.

Tertiary Eye care Center: As far as quality is concern their motto is single standard of care to all whether the person is rich or poor and hospital is Tertiary eye care center which deals with preventive and curative aspects all eye problems through various departments like Cataract dept, Retina and vitreous dept, pediatric ophthalmology dept, strabismus dept, ocular trauma care center, oculoplasty dept, cornea dept, ocular oncology dept, optometry services, contact lens dept etc. They are having rehabilitation center for blinds and patients with low vision.

Rural Eye health Care: People, with whom they are working, are illiterate. They were totally unaware about the eye care modalities when they started their service and now they are quite aware about eye care problems and treatment. These awareness they could achieve because of their intense outreach activities like Free Eye check up camps and interior most village, fully equipped mobile ophthalmic units, School children eye screening programs for preventable blindness and door to door call of the patient to reach out the unreached.

Education: To cater more and more patients and to expand their catchments they have many education courses like DNB Ophthalmology after M B B S, Post M S fellowships, Optometry schools and ophthalmic Technician and Nursing schools.

Technical advancement: They have established complete eye care set up with advanced technology including paperless hospital with EMR and HMIS despite of being in rural remote area. Telemedicine center also is available to get highest quality and most advanced treatment to people of this area.

Research: To avoid the blindness they are doing research including clinical and operational researches which they have presented at national and international level through presentations and publications.

Awards and Honors: “ SUKHDAS MAHARJ HUMANITARIAN AWARD FOR PREACHING GOOD AND DOING GOOD Presented jointly to DR MRS.SHREYA SHAH AND DR MEHUL SHAH (Funder-Trustees: Drashti Netralaya-Dahod) for services in granting vision to the visually impaired and preventing blindness through their Eye Care Project in the remote In Appreciation of their dedicated economically backward villages of Dahod in Gujarat.Presented at Mumbai, Shanmukhanand Hall on 8th of Dec 2003. Other awards are EYE INDIA 2006 award and many local awards.

Goal: We know that there is long way to go to release the needs of needlessly blind tribal people over here but we assure you that the efforts he has put to help us and tribal people of Dahod will prove fruitful and now the dream of Drashti Netralaya to create “Blindness Free Zone in this area with quality concern through system based service delivery model” will come true. Mission Statement To provide Best and Latest vision care with concern and compassion to needy irrespective of his/her being rich or poor, through a professionally committed team for preventive and curative ophthalmic care Free of cost or at affordable rates with a prime priority on safety and well being of the individual. Striving for ongoing improvement in quality through an adaptation of technological advancement and continuing education by strict adherence on procedure and processes for cost effectiveness with care and concern for maintaining a great level of staff satisfaction and motivation.

• Free of cost treatment to poor and needy.
• Treatment at the lowest possible cost for under privileged.
• Single standard of care for all.
• To reach to unreached.
• The best quality of treatment.
• Technological adaptation. For Free of cost treatment OM trust gives priority to..
• The poorest of poor.
• One eyed patients.
• Children.
• Freedom fighters.
• The main earning member of the family.


Academic positions:

Medical Director since last 15 years


Research interests:

Ocular Trauma, Retina, Education, Epidemiology


Any other information:

18 peer reviewed publications Reviewer in Ophthalmology Acta Ophthalmologicaa AAPOS


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