Dimapur, Sep. 1 (EMN): As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, District Hospital Dimapur (DHD) observed the 37th National Eye Donation Fortnight (August 25 to September 8) on August 31 at the hospital premises on the theme ‘Let your eyes live on.’
An update from the chief medical officer (CMO) of Dimapur informed that senior specialist at DHD, Dr. Asonla Aying, who spoke on the theme stated that “our eyes can continue to live on even after death if we donate our cornea to a needy beneficiary.”
Dr. Asonla said the main aim of observing the National Eye Donation Fortnight was to create awareness on the importance of eye donation and also to motivate and inspire people to pledge their eyes for donation after death. She also informed that through the campaign, the country aims to reduce blindness level 0.3% prevalence in the country.
Asonla informed that in India, the maximum number of blindness is due to cataract, which is treatable and about two million blind cases are due to corneal blindness and that children account for one million of corneal blindness. Other causes of corneal blindness are due to injury to the cornea and use of traditional medicine.
She said the main cause of blindness in children is due to vitamin A deficiency, which is also preventable. She informed that the department is trying to reduce vitamin A deficiency in children through routine immunization.
The senior eye specialist also revealed that in India, 2.5 lakh eye donations are required annually. She, however, stated that only 50,000 eye donations are collected.
As there is a huge gap between the demand and supply, she said she urged the community to pledge their eyes for donation.
Dimapur district first collected from a donor on November 21, 2012, with a team led by Dr. Sukhato, former chief medical officer, Dimapur, and has since collected from 16 donors so far, it stated.
She also mentioned that there is a Hospital Cornea Retrieval Program (HRCP), which aims at the retrieval of cornea tissues from willing and eligible donors after death in the hospital.
“Eyes can be retrieved successfully from six to eight hours after death. Any person willing to pledge for eye donation may collect the pledge form from DH Dimapur eye OPD during OPD hours,” it stated.
During the program, video clips on blindness control were also screened for the participants. The program was attended by Dr. Khrielasanuo Metha, medical superintendent of DHD; Dr. Temsu, Dr. Toska, Dr. Sakuyuba Imchen, Dr. Imli, nursing staff, students of nursing school and staff under district hospital.