LVPEI organizes a series of awareness activities during the Eye Donation Fortnight
LVPEI-Eye donation helpline: 040-6810 2514/ 9849545822
Hyderabad, 28th August 2022: The National Eye Donation Fortnight is observed every year from 27th August to 8th September to create public awareness about the importance of eye donation, and to motivate people to pledge their eyes for donation after death. Throughout the year, and more specifically, during the eye donation fortnight, L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) organizes a series of activities to raise awareness about eye donation among the public. Educational programs for eyecare personnel on various aspects of eye banking are also planned. The aim is to ensure that the availability of quality corneal tissue does not remain a barrier in tackling corneal blindness.
Corneal disease is a major cause of blindness in India. Of the 10 million blind people in India, over 2 million Indians are affected by corneal blindness – 60% of them are below the age of 12. This could be due to corneal disease, injury or infection where the cornea of the eye becomes opaque. A person with an opaque cornea cannot see, this condition is known as corneal blindness. The magnitude of corneal blindness is huge and its adverse impact on a nation is even bigger.
Corneal transplantation is the only known cure for corneal blindness. It is a surgical procedure whereby the damaged cornea is replaced by a healthy cornea from a deceased donor. Lack of awareness, myths and fears associated with eye donation are responsible for people not donating their eyes. The current cornea collection in India is able to cater to only one-fourth of the patients in need of corneal transplant surgeries.
“We urge people to come forward and pledge for eye donation. Eye donation can happen only after the death of a person and consent from their family members. So equally important is that the person pledging for eye donation in forms their family members and requests them to execute the same after their death. By donating eyes, we can gift sight to someone not able to see, and keep the memory of the deceased person alive,” says Dr. Sunita Chaurasia, Medical Director, The Ramayamma International Eye Bank, Hyderabad, L V Prasad Eye Institute.
About LVPEI Eye Bank Network: The Ramayamma International Eye Bank at LVPEI Hyderabad is the largest provider of sight-restoring corneas in India that has largely impacted the reduction in wait-times for corneal transplantation. LVPEI also has eye banks at its Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam, and Vijayawada campuses.
In addition to using the corneas for performing corneal transplant surgeries within the LVPEI network, the institute also distributes corneas to surgeons outside the LVPEI network. 40% of the corneas distributed throughout India for sight-restoring corneal transplant surgeries last year were provided by the LVPEI Network Eye Banks.
Cornea collection at LVPEI happens through voluntary donations by deceased families, partner centres and the Hospital-based Cornea Retrieval Program (HCRP). Eye donation requires cooperation from the partner hospitals, and a dedicated team of grief counsellors and cornea recovery trained technicians from the eye banks. In the HCRP an eye donation counsellor is placed in the multi-disciplinary hospitals and approaches the deceased family for eye donation. The counsellor screens the deceased person for suitability on medical grounds and approaches the deceased family and motivate for eye donation.