There are currently an estimated 15 million blind people in India. Corneal blindness accounts for 6.8 million people with vision less than 6/60 in at-least one eye, of which, about 1 million suffer from bilateral corneal blindness.If the current trend continues, it is expected that the number of corneal blind individuals, in India, will increase to 10.6 million by 2020. Of these, at least 3 million can benefit by corneal transplantation.
To effectively, meet the ever growing demand, we need around 150,000 corneal transplants to be performed every year. The shortage of corneas is so acute that, a majority of the patients requiring corneal transplantation are not fortunate enough, to undergo the procedure within a reasonable period.
Eye donations can be done by any person,regardless of age, gender or race. Even people using spectacles, suffering from diabetes or hypertension can donate their eyes. One can give the ‘gift of sight’ by pledging ones’ eyes at our Eye Bank. However, the consent of the next-of-kin, is essential for finally completing the procedure of an effective eye donation. Out of the total death, annually, in our Country, even in the case, where 1.5 % of people donate their eyes, this will reduce the burden of corneal blindness greatly. Along with voluntary eye donations, the hospital cornea retrieval programme (HCRP) should also be encouraged to get younger and healthier donor tissues.
The eye bank was started on the 2nd of October, 2005. H. V. Desai Eye Hospital’s Eye bank, has emerged, as the top eye bank, in the Pune region and the third in Maharashtra State.
Our eye bank is a state –of- the- art facility, It has been accredited by Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI) and Sight life (USA) and is working round the clock. The Government of Maharashtra has felicitated our eye bank for the collection of the maximum number of corneas. It is very well equipped with a cornea processing unit and specular microscope for tissues as well as live models. We are able to select better-quality cornea with the help of a specular microscope, which has resulted in the successful rate of impact on patients.
India has around 628 eye banks, of which, in September 2010, PBMA’s H. V. Desai Eye Bank was chosen by the Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI) for accreditation as a training Centre. Since 2014, we have collaborated with Sightlife (USA), which is an International Eye bank & is an NGO, which gives technical support, training & regulates quality control of eye banks all over the world.
Eye Bank Performance from Oct. 2005 to December 2020
|No. of cornea collected||No. of PK done in H. V. Desai Eye Hospital||No. of cornea sent to other eye bank|
Late Mr. Kumarbhai Shah, was an active social worker, who contributed greatly towards voluntary eye donations drives, wherein he was able to counsel the relatives of the deceased person for eye donation, mainly during the early years of the existence of our eye bank.
Mr. Harish Saxsena, of the Rotary Club Pune Central, Mr. Nagpal of Lodge Burnett 3284 EC, Mr. Dinoobhai Gandhi (Reliance Drishti) and our team of advisers, which include Mr. Jitubhai Mehta and Mr. Pradeepbhai Munot are also among the major contributors to this program of promotion of eye donation.