GUWAHATI, Sept 5 - In India, about 20,000 cornea donations occur yearly, but unfortunately, the share of Assam is only three per cent. Lack of awareness regarding cornea donation is hampering the fight against cornea blindness in Assam and the North East as a whole.
This, and other related issues came to the focus at the 31st National Eye Donation Fortnight – a public awareness programme of the Government of India under its National Programme for Control of Blindness – observed by Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya (SSN).
“In India, there are about 6.8 million corneal blinds. Cornea blindness means, where eyes are otherwise healthy and only opacity of the cornea causes blindness. Cause of such blindness is trauma, infection due to any causes, malnutrition, etc, and mostly preventable. Corneal transplantation is the effective treatment for corneal blindness,” Dr Harsha Bhattarcharjee, medical director and trustee of Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya, said, adding that human donor is the only source of corneal tissue.
“Grief counsellors are helping the SSN Eye Bank to retrieve the corneal tissue from the deceased donor. Eye donation is possible only after death, and consent of the family members is mandatory for this noble act,” Dr Bhattacharjee said.
At a meeting held in the auditorium of the Nethralaya on Saturday, relatives of the eye donors were felicitated and honoured for their noble decision and act.
The chief guest, Major Gen AK Jha, GOC, 51 Sub Area, Narengi, guest of honour Dr Nirmal Kumar Choudhury, former VC of Gauhati University, and special guest Aimee Baruah, actress, attended the occasion.