Punjab Health department secretary Mr Kumar Rahul flagged off an Information Education and Communication (IEC) van regarding eye donation from the district hospital here today, under the National Program for control of blindness and visual impairement (NPCBVI).Speaking at the launch program, he said that the van would cover different areas across the district to raise awareness about eye donations and eye diseases and treatment. He appealed to the people to volunteer to donate their eyes to bring light to the visually impaired awaiting such help. He said those who wanted to go ahead could fill forms that are available with the van staff.He said that corneal blindness is one of the leading causes of blindness in the country. At present, there are 10 lakh people in the country who are blind in both eyes while 68 lakh people have lost sight in one eye to this melady. Elaborating further, he said, “Every year about 30 thousand new cases of Corneal Blindness come up. The disease may be caused due to infection or injury to the eye. It can also occur due to deficiency of Vitamin A among children.’ He added that under the NPCB, an endeavour was made to make Punjab a corneal blindness backlog free state at the beginning of 2015 and patients suffereing from corneal diseases in the state were identified and treated. As a result of this, Punjab was declared as a complete corneal blindness backlog free state in 2018 as no old cases of corneal blindness was found in the state. He said that till date. 3118 cases of Keratoplasty operations have been completed in the state successfully. State program officer NPCB Dr Areet Kaur, Mohali Civil surgeon Dr Manjeet Singh, senior medical officer Dr Manjeet Singh were also present on the occasion.
Facts about eye donation
The eyes have to be removed within six hours of death. So the nearest eye bank or eye collection centre must be informed immediately irrespective of the initial pledging of eye donation.
Eye removal takes only 10-15 minutes and leaves no scar or disfigurement of the face
Only the cornea is transplanted for all practical purpose and not the entire eyeball. However, other part of eye is used for research and education purpose.
Eye donation gives sight to two blind persons. One blind person is given one eye.
The donated corneas are transplanted to patients eye who are waiting list in accordance with the priority based on guidelines to avoid malpractices.
The eyes are never bought or sold. Eye donation is never refused