On the occasion of National Eye Donation Fortnight Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital on Thursday organized a walkathon in which 200 people pledge to donate their eyes. Doctors called for a big push to increase the number of eye donations in India.
Addressing the media persons Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital Senior Consultant, Cornea and Refractive Surgery Dr Raghu Nagaraju said, “We want to create awareness about eye donation and motivate people to donate their eyes. It’s important to educate people about the myths that persist against eye donation. Eyes are the gift to humanity which you can give even after our demise. Comparing to any transplantation in our body eye donation is most successful transplantation hence it is very important.”
He further said that the eye donation is extremely popular even in a small country like Sri Lanka which harvests more cornea than it needs and sends surplus to other nations. “In India we are not able to meet 10% of the demand. We need a big push to increase the number of eye donations around 15 lakh people are currently waiting for corneal transplants but only about 7,000 to 8,000 transplants are taking place every year.” Nagaraju said.
Dr Ravi D, Medical Director, Dr Agarwal’s Hospital said that Government currently gives more importance to promoting cataract corneal transplants. “Cornea harvesting from tier 2 and 3 cities in Karnataka and rural areas is very less compared to big cities like Bengaluru and Mysuru of lack of eye bank units. To tackle the problem of blindness, all government –run district hospital must have a corneal specialized surgeon.”
Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Senior Consultant ,cataract, Cornea and Refractive Surgery Dr Archana S said that Cornea has to be collected at the right, stored promptly and transplanted as soon as possible. The less time between harvesting the tissue and the transplant, the better the outcome. We need to increase the number of eye banks to reduce the transportation duration.
National Eye donation Fortnight is celebrated throughout the world. In India it has been organized from August 25 to September 8 every year especially to encourage people to come forward for eye donation and pledge their eyes.