Webinar on ‘Hospital Cornea Retrieval Program’

Aligarh: “Corneal blindness worldwide is a treatable condition with a clear solution: a corneal transplant. Yet a shortage of transplant tissue keeps the men, women and children affected by the condition in the dark,” said Prof Adeeb Alam Khan, Institute of Ophthalmology, J N Medical College (JNMC), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

He was speaking in the webinar on ‘Hospital Cornea Retrieval Program (HCRP)’ organised by the Institute of Ophthalmology, as a part of the 35th Eye Donation Fortnight (August 25-September 8) nationwide observations.

Delineating HCRP importance in the fight to eliminate corneal blindness, Prof Adeeb pointed out that corneal blindness accounts for 7.4 percent of total blindness cases in India.

“Even as the awareness on eye donation in growing gradually, the actual eye donation is in miniscule numbers. Whereas people pledging to donate eyes are huge in numbers,” he said.

He added: “We understand that eye donation is a sensitive matter. Despite the enthusiasm on pledging, usually not much is remembered at the time of the death of eye donation pledgers.”

Prof Adeeb, who is also the Officer In-Charge of the AMU Institute of Ophthalmology Eye Bank said that since its inception, the Eye Bank has been involved in more than 100 corneal transplants. Nevertheless, 1497 people in need of these transplants are still in the waiting list, whilst the donation pledges by 1789 persons.

He extended gratitude to NGOs run by Mr Anil Varshney and Dr S K Gaur Dehdan for their efforts and cooperation AMU Institute of Ophthalmology Eye Bank?s mission of corneal blindness eradication.

The webinar also had discussion on various aspects related to eye donation by experts such as Prof A K Amitava, Dr Durgesh K (Deputy CMO and In-Charge NPCB, Dist Hospital), Dr Ajay K Saxena (CMO, Gandhi Eye Hospital), Dr Zishan, Mr Anil Varshney, Dr Abdul Waris, Dr Zia S and Dr S Wajahat A Rizvi.