A vi­sion to boost eye do­na­tions vi­tal

The Hitavada - - NATION -

WITH an es­ti­mated 4.6 mil­lion peo­ple rid­dled with corneal blind­ness in In­dia, there is an ur­gent need for rais­ing aware­ness about eye do­na­tion so that corneal trans­plan­ta­tion can re­store the sight in such per­sons.

There can­not be a bet­ter day than the World Sight Day which falls on Oc­to­ber 12 to launch such aware­ness drive. More than 90 per cent of the corneal trans­plan­ta­tion op­er­a­tions are con­ducted suc­cess­fully and help in restor­ing vi­sion in peo­ple with corneal blind­ness.

“We need to per­form at least one lakh corneal trans­plan­ta­tion op­er­a­tions in In­dia ev­ery year but we do only 25,000 to 30,000 trans­plan­ta­tion, the rea­son be­ing un­avail­abil­ity of corneas for such op­er­a­tions. Corneas can come only through eye do­na­tions,’’ says Dr Rad­hika Tan­don, Pro­fes­sor of Oph­thal­mol­ogy at All In­dia In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sci­ences. Prof Tan­don said corneal blind­ness can oc­cur due to in­juries, mishaps, in­dus­trial ac­ci­dents or in­fec­tions and can be treated by trans­plant­ing a healthy cornea. “How­ever, due to lack of aware­ness, peo­ple do not come for­ward for eye do­na­tion nor do they pledge to do­nate eyes af­ter their death,” she added.

Dr A K Singh, a spe­cial­ist in reti­nal dis­eases, stressed upon the need to take up the eye do­na­tion cam­paign at a na­tional level. “You have to do­nate eyes only af­ter death of your near and dear ones and there is no dis­fig­ure­ment of the body.

One can in­form the near­est eye bank or any hospi­tal af­ter the death of a per­son and doc­tors can take the cornea eas­ily in just 10 to 15 min­utes. There is no scar on the body. With two corneas, two per­sons with corneal blind­ness can get back their vi­sion,’’ he says.

Ac­cord­ing to Prof Tan­don, there are coun­sel­lors and mo­ti­va­tors work­ing in hospi­tals who coun­sel the fam­i­lies on eye do­na­tion and many peo­ple do agree for it. “But the gap is huge, we have to en­cour­age eye do­na­tion right from the district level. There are good fa­cil­i­ties avail­able for har­vest­ing do­nated corneas. Nor­mally, corneas are taken within six hours of a per­son’s death. The pro­ce­dure is very sim­ple. There is no bar on age or gen­der on do­nat­ing one’s eyes. The corneal tis­sue is a thin trans­par­ent layer which is lifted by a doc­tor from the eye and the lids are then closed.

There is ab­so­lutely no dis­fig­ure­ment in­volved in it,’’ she added. Ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, corneal dis­eases are among the ma­jor causes of vi­sion loss and blind­ness af­ter cataract and glau­coma. Loss of sight can be cor­rected from eye do­na­tion which needs to be en­cour­aged at all lev­els. “Peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly in ru­ral ar­eas, need to be in­formed about eye do­na­tions. Pri­mary Health Cen­tres should be equipped for eye do­na­tions only then we can over­come the short­age of corneas.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.