Residents need not go to Chennai for want of an eye transplant. Sri Sai Lions Netralaya, which has a presence in other districts of the state, is opening an eye bank in Patna.
The hospital has identified over 500 people willing to donate eyes and is targeting 5,000 donors by December.
The chairman of the hospital, Ashok Kumar, told The Telegraph: “We plan to open the eye bank by November-end. If not by then, then definitely on December 12, when we will observe our ninth annual day. So far, 10 patients have registered with us.”
Former animal and fish resources minister Giriraj Singh was the first who consented to donate his eyes to this upcoming bank.
The hospital had, with help from Lions Club, organised a fortnight-long awareness programme from August 23.
The programme helped encourage many more to volunteer for eye donation.
The hospital even met Rotary Club members in this regard on September 4.
Those from weak economic background stand to benefit from the eye bank.
Kumar said: “People who turn blind because of cornea-related ailments would benefit from the transplant facility. We have bought the kits to keep corneas safe for transplantation. It is best if the corneas are used within 48 hours of removal.”
Experts said administering antibiotic eye drops periodically can help preserve the pledged cornea.
The Patna Medical College and Hospital started an eye bank in 1979 and six corneal transplants took place there, but it is not functional now.
Patna Medical College and Hospital superintendent Amar Kant Jha Amar said: “Transplants have not taken place for want of equipment. But we plan to use Rs 1.2 crore received under the prevention of blindness scheme in the last three years to make it functional. A faculty members has already been trained for the purpose. Some more will be sent to AIIMS, New Delhi, for the same. We also plan to send vehicles to various places in the state to spread awareness about eye donation.”
Pledge your sight
Who can be an eye donor?
Anybody over the age of two years
Can the next-of-kin consent to a donation
if the deceased family member hasn’t signed a pledge form?
How can I be of help on the death of a close relative or friend?
Motivate the next-of-kin of the deceased for donation. Cornea has to be collected within six hours of death
What should I do
till the donation
• Keep the eyes of the deceased closed and cover it with moist cotton
• Switch off the fan
• Raise the donor’s head by six inches by placing two pillows under it
Reasons for not allowing donation
• Death from unknown cause or infection
• Any frank ocular infection, previous refractive surgery
Can the whole eye be transplanted?
No. Only the cornea and sclera can be transplanted
Can a living person donate his/her eyes?
Can the recipients be told who donated the eyes?
No. The gift of sight is made anonymously
Any phone numbers
for eye bank and eye donation?
0612-2361395, 9471002350, 9471002357