In a shocking revelation, Lok Sabha was today informed that less than 50 per cent of the donated eyes collected under the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are utilized for corneal transplantation.
The Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare), Anupriya Patel, in a written reply, said today: “This is mainly because, all the donated eyes are not found suitable for corneal transplantation due to various medical reasons, like poor quality of collected corneas due to reasons like, age of donor, pre-existing degeneration or diseases.”
It is worth a mention that prior to transplantation, the collected corneas are assessed by transplant surgeons for its suitability for optical keratoplasty by using Specular Microscope.
However, corneas not suitable or fit for optical keratoplasty are utilized either for therapeutic keratoplasty or for training and research purpose.
Government is taking various measures to create awareness about eye health including promotion of eye donation to restore vision of corneal blind in the country.
One of the major steps to promote eye donation includes educating people about early donation so that eye tissues can be harvested within 4-6 hours of death of donor and also follow other general precautions like covering eyes of deceased person, switching off the fans etc.