State Collects 5,084 Corneas
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14 April 2010
By Umesh Isalkar
Response Was Better From Cities Like Mumbai, Pune
Under the National Programme of Control of Blindness (NPCB), the state has collected 5,084 corneas in the last one year, from April 2009 to March 2010. In respect to eye donation, Mumbai contributed with 1,646 corneas, followed by Pune at 1,117.
“We collected 5,084 corneas, which is slightly less compared to our last year’s achievement of 5,885 under the NPCB,” said Ashok Potdar, joint director (blindness) of the state health services.
The response to eye donation was more in cities. Besides Mumbai and Pune, other cities like Nagpur (610), Jalna (215), Thane (330) and Akola (114) also contributed to the noble cause, he said.
The report has been submitted to the Central government and will be compared with other states, Potdar said.
When contacted, A S Rathod, joint director general (eye), ministry of health and family welfare, said, “Maharashtra has been among leading performers in eye donation. The state has more potential for eye donation. Therefore, there is still scope to enhance the performance.”
Despite the highest collection of eyes, the state needs to go a long way, said Potdar, adding, there is a need of 10,000 eyes every year in the state. The state had collected 4,985 eyes during 2007–08.
“The state hospitals usually have a waiting list of those in need of eyes and eyes are donated to them as per the list,” said Potdar.
“In the country, around a lakh eyes are needed per year against the availability of only around 36,000,” said Potdar. Eyes have to be donated within six hours of death of a person and used in 72 hours, he said.
The Pune district registered a collection of 1,167 eye balls (corneas) between April 2009 and March 2010. A large number of these were primarily collected by private eye banks in the city, Ashok Mahadik, district ophthalmic surgeon, said.