August 30, 2015
Eye Donation awareness fortnight is celebrated all over the country between 25 August and 8 September. In order to spread awareness among the public about eye donation, the Coimbatore Society of Ophthalmic Surgeons (CSOS) organized an Eye Donation Awareness Rally this morning in the city. The rally was flagged off by Mr. K. Shankar IPS, the West Zone Inspector General, at the Race Course.
Many senior members of the CSOS, doctors, eye bank staff, and students from various hospitals and colleges participated in the rally. Tamil Nadu is the No.1 state in the country when it comes to eye donations, followed closely by Gujarat and Maharashtra. However a lot still needs to be done in order to create the awareness about eye donation in this region.
Lack of awareness, hesitation among the public, lack of quality corneas are the main reasons for lack of effective eye donation in India. Creating awareness and implementing effective hospital cornea retrieval programmes can inspire more people to donate their eyes.
Dr. D. Ramamurthy, MD, The Eye Foundation and Incoming President of All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS) said that India is home to the world’s largest number of blind people. Of 37 million blind people across the globe more than 15 million are from India. 75% of these cases are of avoidable blindness. Corneal diseases are major cause of visual loss after cataract and glaucoma.
Penetrating keratoplasty is the most successful and most often performed tissue transplant which can treat this blindness. “However our country is suffering an acute shortage eye donors for the treatment of corneal blindness with 80% difference between the demand and the supply. Out of 12 million blind people in India, 10 lakhs are due to corneal diseases, 26% of whom are children.”