The first ever na­tional eye bank in­au­gu­rated

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Pen­jor

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.

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