Narayana Nethralaya and Eye Bank Association aim to achieve 1,00,000 corneal transplantations

Bengaluru: The 33rd National Eye Donation Fortnight is being observed by Narayana Nethralaya and Eye Bank Association of India with a goal to reach One Lakh corneal transplants by 2020. The announcement marked the inauguration of 2nd Dakshina Bharath Nethradhan Sammelan as “Accelerated Laksha Laqshya 2018” by Chairman and Managing Director of Narayana Nethralaya, Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty. Highlighting the gap between the demand and supply, Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty said, “Out of fifty lakh visually disabled people in India, fifteen lakh suffer from corneal blindness. Eye sight restoration in these people is possible only through corneal transplantation from eye donations since there is no substitute for human tissue. I request everyone to come forward to pledge your eyes, and also work for eye donation by encouraging the family members of a deceased person to donate the eyes within 6 hours of the death.” “As a result of decades of awareness campaigns, Dr. Rajkumar Eye Bank now ranks 1st in eye collection among Eye Banks in Karnataka for 2017-2018, with a total collection of 1,849. The two Narayana Nethralaya eye banks account for 46% of the total number of eyes collected in Karnataka (4,840) during the same period. Statistics from EBAI shows that South Indian states have collected a total of 29,708 eyes which is over 40% of the total eye collection in India at 57,138 during 2017-18.” Added Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty. Stressing on the importance of organ donation, Chairperson of EBAI, South Zone, Mr. M. K. Krishna said, “It is also India’s first multi-disciplinary conference wherein the entire programme is open to public as well since it is them who have to be motivated from within to work for eye donation. Generally, only 40% of the total eye collections can be used for transplants. So, we need to collect three lakh eyes to reach our target of One Lakh corneal transplants. It is our mission to establish minimum one eye bank per district and one eye collection centre per Taluk across the country to make it “Blind free Bharat”. This is also the first programme to encourage all ‘anatomical gifts’ like skin grafting, heart transplant, scalp donation, bone marrow donation and whole-body donation under one roof.” The annual award in memory of Harish Nanjappa, was presented to Smt. Gayathri Narayan CA from Madhugiri Eye collection centre, for exemplary contribution to Eye donation. Chinthana, an extensive group discussion on best ways to achieve 1,00,000 Corneal Transplants saw active participation from healthcare professionals and public alike. The highly concentrated discussion was moderated by Mr. M. K. Krishna who is also the Founder President of GIANTS Group of Garden City, Bengaluru and Mr. Pradeep Sudarshan, a visually impaired social worker who runs a campaign for Eye Donation, "Gift Your Sight - Make it Your Wish!". The conference also held sessions on various cornea related topics like cornea retrieval, rural eye bank, multipurpose utility of corneas & sclera, brief notes on organ and cadaver donation by various renowned dignitaries. The conference also had a session on blood donation by individuals who had donated blood more than 100 times till date. Awards were presented to all the performing eye banks and collection centres as an appreciation and to accelerate their services.

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