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Improve ‘sick’ eye banking system in the state: NGO

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 10:38 -- geeta.nair

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 8

Umang Foundation has urged the government to bring immediate improvement in the existing ‘sick’ eye banking system in the state so that more persons with corneal blindness are able to see again. Due to lack of infrastructure and management, the eye bank is not getting sufficient number of eyes for transplant.

Addressing the media persons here today, Member of State Disability Advisory Board and Chairperson of Umang Foundation Ajai Srivastava said the eye bank in Tanda Medical College, Kangra, which was inaugurated about 2.5 years ago, was currently defunct.

“It was important to establish eye collection centres at district level when the eye bank was established as due to the difficult mountainous terrain of the state, it becomes impossible in most cases to bring the eye from the dead body to the eye bank in Shimla,” said Srivastava.

Due to absence of eye collection centres at district level, only those eyes are available for donation which has been collected from in and around Shimla. After the death of 160 persons, 320 eyes were available for donation, out of which only 255 were suitable for transplant.

Currently more than 150 corneal blind persons are in the waiting list for the eye transplant. However, hundreds of people in Himachal have corneal blindness which can be corrected with corneal transplant.

The foundation urged the government to make eye collection centres functional in all districts on an urgent basis. These district level eye collection centres will receive donated eyes and can transfer these to Tanda or Shimla eye bank within 24 hours for transplant.

In case this is not possible, these eye collection centres can do the required procedure for preserving the eye and transfer it to nearest eye bank within four days for the transplant.

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