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LVPEI urges people to pledge for eye donation

The aim is to ensure that the availability of quality corneal tissue does not remain a barrier to tackling corneal blindness.

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Hyderabad: L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) here on Saturday urged people to pledge eye donation.

The National Eye Donation Fortnight is observed every year from August 27 to September 8 to create public awareness about the importance of eye donation, and to motivate people to pledge their eyes for donation after death.

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Throughout the year, and more specifically, during the eye donation fortnight, LVPEI organizes a series of activities to raise awareness about eye donation among the public, a release here said on Saturday.

Educational programs for eye care personnel on various aspects of eye banking are also planned.

The aim is to ensure that the availability of quality corneal tissue does not remain a barrier to tackling corneal blindness.

Of the 10 million blind people in India, over 2 million Indians are affected by corneal blindness – 60 percent of them are below the age of 12. This could be due to corneal disease, injury, or infection where the cornea of the eye becomes opaque.

A person with an opaque cornea cannot see, this condition is known as corneal blindness. The magnitude of corneal blindness is huge and its adverse impact on a nation is even bigger.

Corneal transplantation is the only known cure for corneal blindness. It is a surgical procedure whereby the damaged cornea is replaced by a healthy cornea from a deceased donor.

Lack of awareness, myths, and fears associated with eye donation is responsible for people not donating their eyes. The current cornea collection in India is able to cater to only one-fourth of the patients in need of corneal transplant surgeries.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sunita Chaurasia, Medical Director, The Ramayamma International Eye Bank, Hyderabad, L V Prasad Eye Institute said, “We urge people to come forward and pledge for eye donation. Eye donation can happen only after the death of a person and consent from their family members.

So equally important is that the person pledging for eye donation forms their family members and requests them to execute the same after their death. By donating eyes, we can give sight to someone not able to see, and keep the memory of the deceased person alive,” she said.

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