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Awareness needed to bridge the gap in eye donation and requirement : Dr Agarwals Eye Hospital

Chennai, 06 September 2023: The National Eye Donation Fortnight observed annually from August 25th to September 8th, highlights the urgent need for eye donations in India. To mark National Eye Donation Fortnight 2023, Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital, Chennai organised an eye donation awareness event at its hospital premises today. The esteemed Chief Guest for the occasion was Mr. Samay Singh Meena, IPS Deputy Commissioner of Police – Traffic, Chennai East. Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital has consistently ranked among the top 5 eye banks in India and is the second-highest performing eye bank in Tamil Nadu.

Dr. Athiya Agarwal, Director of Dr. Agarwals Group of Eye Hospitals delivered an impassioned speech during the event, stating, “The gift of sight is unparalleled. Eye donation has the power to transform the lives of individuals suffering from corneal blindness, and it represents a lasting legacy of compassion and generosity. Donating one’s eyes isn’t just a procedure; it’s a gift of eternal vision.”

She also informed that Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Bank has been committed to promoting eye donation and collecting corneas since its inception in 1957. However, it is crucial to raise awareness about eye donation and expand the infrastructure of eye banks and research centers to facilitate more donations. Additionally, when eye donations cannot be used for transplantation, they are channeled towards research and education, contributing to advancements in understanding various eye conditions.

“To date, the hospital has successfully transplanted over 40,000 corneas to individuals in need, with 40% of recipients belonging to economically deprived backgrounds. This represents a small yet significant step in the fight against corneal blindness”, Dr. Athiya added.

Dr. Preethi Naveen, Senior Cornea Consultant and Medical Director of Dr. Agarwals Eye Bank emphasised the significance of eye donation. She explained, “All over the world, there are about 40 million people who suffer from visual impairments. A massive 8 million of them live in India out of which 1.3 million of them have lost sight due to corneal blindness. To prevent this loss of vision, hospitals require about 1.3 lakh corneas per year.”

Talking about recent advances she explained, “Through the advanced surgical technique that are available, one cornea can be separated into multiple layers by which one pair of eyes can give vision to four people thus restoring vision in many needy patients.”

Additionally, she conveyed that Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital stands as a leading institution providing the exceptional Pre-Descemet’s endothelial keratoplasty (PDEK) procedure, wherein 25 microns of a single corneal tissue is transplanted in the patient, which propels visual recovery, in an individual within a short period post-procedure transforming their life, she added.

Chief Guest Mr. Samay Singh Meena, IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police – Traffic, Chennai East, expressed his support for the cause, stating, “I am honored to be part of this significant event, raising awareness about eye donation. It’s our collective responsibility to pledge our eyes and bring light into the lives of those in need. Let’s work together to eliminate corneal blindness from our society.”

The event also featured the heartfelt gratitude of a recipient’s family, who emphasized the immeasurable impact of eye donation. Their loved one’s corneal transplant had transformed their life, and they expressed eternal gratitude to the selfless donor and their family for this incredible act of kindness.

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