| Patients wait in a queue at the Rajendra Nagar Hospital in Patna. Telegraph picture |
Rajendra Nagar Hospital has big dreams in its eyes. The health hub would acquire a state-of-the-art facility of cornea transplantation for the first time in Bihar. Patients would be able to avail its service in 2014.
R.P. Singh, the deputy superintendent of the hospital, told The Telegraph: “Rajendra Nagar Hospital has recently been upgraded to a super specialty hospital. Many new wings have been started here. The decision to start cornea transplantation is also a part of this status.”
He said at present, no government or private hospital in the state has this facility, forcing patients from the state to go to Delhi and Tamil Nadu among other places for the treatment, which costs between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1 lakh.
“Not only people have to shell out exorbitant amounts for treatment, they also have to spend on or transportation and accommodation, which inflates their budget,” said Singh.
“But we have to do groundwork first. We are developing a cornea bank at Rajendra Nagar Hospital. No eye bank, at present, functions in any government hospital in the state because of unavailability of donors. It would be difficult for us to start the facility without a cornea bank. So, we are now focusing on developing the cornea bank at the hospital,” added Singh.
Singh said experts from AIIMS, New Delhi, are assisting the health department to start the facility.
“Before getting the super speciality tag, every hospital is attached with a premier hospital .We have been attached with AIIMS, New Delhi. Therefore, experts from AIIMS are helping us in the process. Last month, Dr Rajvardhan Azad, head of the ophthalmology department of AIIMS, New Delhi, visited our hospital to see the work progress. We are fortunate that Azad belongs to the state and so he is taking keen interest in the work,” added Singh.
On the need for cornea transplantation, Singh said: “A cornea transplantation is done when damage to the cornea causes a drop in the vision or pain that interferes with daily activities such as driving, reading or working at a computer. The cornea may become distorted by a variety of diseases or scarred by infections or injuries. So, this is where cornea transplantation comes in. The vision of cornea transplant patients improves within 12 to 18 months.”