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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 283-286

Eye donation and eye banking in India


1 Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029, India
2 Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029, India

Correspondence Address:
Noopur Gupta
Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.261189

Corneal blindness is a priority condition under the National Programme for Control of Blindness and an important cause of avoidable blindness in India. A multipronged approach is needed to eliminate corneal blindness. Curable or treatable blindness requires a spectrum of care including medication, optical rehabilitation and corneal transplantation. Corneal transplantation is dependent on the availability of safe, donor eyes; however, there is scarcity of donor corneal tissues in India. To improve the eye banking system, the Government of India supports eye banks through recurring grants for operational costs and non-recurring grants for infrastructure costs. Strategic interventions by the government and non-governmental organizations include awareness by health promotion and education, community participation, sustainable source of donor cornea, quality medical standards, accreditation and endeavours to strengthen eye banking systems and procedures through training and research. A model eye banking system in India can be achieved only when it is linked with the targeted infrastructure proposed under ‘Vision 2020: Right to Sight- India’. Considering these targets, there is a requirement of at least 20 eye bank training centres, 200 eye banks with corneal transplant facility (collection of nearly 500 corneas per year) and 2000 eye donation centres in the country. This would become a reality if the Hospital Cornea Retrieval Programme is strengthened at all private and government hospitals, uniform medical standards are made mandatory for all eye banks and eye donation centres and the process of registration and eye donation is simplified to enhance community participation.


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