In a first, the Shaheed Babu Labh Singh Civil Hospital will become the first government health institution in the state to have keratoplasty centre for cornea transplant
The facility will be provided for free. The centre will be launched under Corneal Blindness Backlog-Free Punjab programme launched by the state health department in September 2015.
The centre will be set-up on the ground floor of the civil hospital.
A formal letter in this regard has been issued by medical superintendent Dr Kanwaljit Singh Bawa to Shamsher Singh Mann, district programme manager, National Programme for Control of Blindness.
Medical officer and eye specialist, Dr KD Thind, who will be conducting the transplants, has recently completed four-month special training at PGI Chandigarh and Pune .
The Government Medical Colleges at Amritsar, Patiala, Faridkot and few private centres already have the facility of keratoplasty centres. Dr Mann informed, “A team from Directorate of Research and Medical Education (DRME) has taken stock of the preparations. All the formalities including documents of doctor’s training have been submitted to DRME a few days back.”
“As per 2011 census of Punjab , out of the total 2.80 crore population, 2800 are bilaterally corneal blind in the state,” said Shamsher Singh Mann, district programme manager.
He informed that the keratoplasty centre will facilitate to clear the backlog of corneal blindness here ,as 140 people, are waiting to get their eyesight back.
Mann, who also holds the charge of senior medical officer ,Eye Mobile, told, “We are promoting the practice of eye donation among people in coordination with all government, private centres and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs). He also told that as soon as DRME gives a green signal, the centre will be inaugurated here. “Within 6-8 hours of a death, the cornea can be procured and can be transplanted,” Mann added.
It is pertinent to mention here that to promote the eye donation, the health department has already installed a hoarding outside the mortuary in the civil hospital. Also instructions have been given to police department to promote eye donation in medico-legal death cases before postmortem examination.
The department has also been providing eye donation pledge forms in hospitals and dispensaries. Organisation holding checkup camps have also been assigned the task of motivating people for eye donation motivation.
As per the instructions given by health department the contact details of nearest eye bank, eye donation centre, and eye donation association should be displayed at the mortuaries.