The first ever national eye bank inaugurated
Coinciding with on World Sight Day, Her Royal Highness, Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck and Medical Director of the Tilganga institute of ophthalmology based in Nepal Dr. Sanduk Ruit inaugurated the first ever national eye bank in Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) on last Thursday.
Now those who have the eye sight problem and who wishes to transplant cornea can get it done easily in Thimphu. Cornea is the glass like covering over the pupil of the eye
While people who are willing to donate his or her cornea can do so without consideration of age, sex or social status.
Meanwhile, the cornea can be removed at home or any other place where the body is kept after the death. The remove of cornea can usually do within six hours.
One may think that from moral and the religious views on eye donation that we should not donate our organ or the eye. But religious leaders throughout the world have voiced their support for eye donation as an expression of the highest humanitarian ideas.
Even from the His Holiness the Je Khempo’s office, in response to a Business Bhutan submission, said donating ones organ is noble and equivalent to any other religious practice like visiting temples, lhakhangs or giving alms, the state- ment said.
Corneal blindness, ophthalmologist Dr. Nor Tshering with JDWNRH said, the cornea blindness is one of the major burden because we need cornea and to give cornea, people have to give.
From this year, Tilganga institute of ophthalmology, Katmandu, Nepal had promised us to support with cornea supply at least two cornea in a month for the patient of Bhutan, so accordingly it is time for us to start eye banking new services, so that we can store the cornea and then we can give cornea, he added.
While cornea blindness is the leading causes of the blindness which accounts for 5.1 percent globally and in the world 39 mn blind from all causes and 285 mn visual impairment.
And in Bhutan, according to health survey 2009, 10,000 blind from corneal diseases, 15,000 from unilateral corneal diseases and there are 27,000 phthisis bulbi (shrunken eye globes) mainly cornea related diseases.
Dr. Sanduk Ruit said, the Tilganga institute of ophthalmology will be firmly behind you not only in terms of eye banking but in other program such as preventive in blindness.
Corneal donation is generally done after death within six hours of death, and we have to start public awareness starting from here, said the Dr. Ruit.
A former Paro national museum director, Mynak Trulku said that, in Bud- dhism donation of organ is a novel job because in a Buddhism, there are six paramitas which we are supposed to practice which starts with charity, giving something donation, giving life or giving sight to somebody.
Then goes to morality; forgiveness; perseverance; meditation and wisdom that’s way to start is very good example that we as a Buddhist, we must do it, said the Trulku.
I personally feel that, there is nothing wrong while donating, “blind man who expired will not reborn as a blind man”, Trulku added.
Meanwhile, HRH, Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuck and the health officials are being the first to pledge to donate their eyes, pledge today to donate eyes after death.