National eye donation fortnight: Number of donors in PGI doubles in five years

The number of cornea transplants performed in PGIMER annually has also witnessed an increase.

punjab Updated: Sep 05, 2018 13:42 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
National eye donation fortnight,eye donors,eye transplant
This year alone, the eye bank has recorded 554 donations till August.(istock)

The number of eye donations has doubled at the advanced eye centre of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in the last five years, as per a data shared by the PGI Eye Bank.

The data shows that in 2013, 306 eye (cornea) donations took place in the eye bank while in 2017, the number shot up to 778. This year alone, the eye bank has recorded 554 donations till August.

The number of cornea transplants performed in PGIMER annually has also witnessed an increase. In 2013, 251 cornea transplants were performed while in 2017, the number was 470. It means that 470 people got vision in 2017 and this year, so far, the number is at 314.

As per doctors, any person who is blind due to a damaged cornea can see after cornea transplant. There is a long list of such patients including one-year-olds, who are being operated upon daily at the advanced eye centre.

“Every month, on an average, over 40 cornea transplants are performed. The importance is given to children who are less than 10 years of age and to people who are bilaterally blind. Every weak, at least four children underwent cornea transplants,” said Dr Atul Gautam, Eye Bank Manager, PGIMER.

The waiting period of cornea transplant is as long as one year.

“Currently, over 600 people are waiting for cornea transplant and out of this, 310 patients are from Punjab. A majority are waiting since 2017,” said the doctor. The doctor further stated that Punjabis come at the first place when it comes to donating eyes. “For instance, of the 398 cornea donations took place between April 2017 and March 2018, 248 donors were from Punjab,” he said.

Over the years, awareness has increased and more number of people are coming forward and registering themselves as eye donors. Since 2011, over 60,000 people have pledged to become eye donors.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 12:06 IST