In the early days the main reason why Eye Banks were not very successful in India was because of the lack of awareness. Eye transplant in the late 1970s and 1980s in India was a rather complicated affair. It was against many odds that new eye care teams such as team Sankara worked during those early years. Preservation techniques were not very advanced, the ratio of donors to recipients was very poor and modest transport connections between places added to the woes. Many of the live corneas came from Sri Lanka – with a high Buddhist population, the island nation’s people believed that donating at least one organ was vital to attain salvation. However, these could be preserved only for 72 hours and often, the cost of transportation would be far greater than the cost of the transplant itself! Many eye banks had been set up but owing to logistic and other inconveniences, these ideas were abandoned almost soon after they had begun. Setting up an eye bank was rarely encouraged or dreamed of. But one man did. The year was 1985. Dr. R.V. Ramani and his wife, Dr. Radha Ramani had spent the last eight years offering subsidised medical care to a host of people at the Kanchi Kamakoti Medical Centre. With contributions from philanthropists and help from the medical fraternity, the centre grew to one of the most eminent health care centres in Coimbatore. Our dream of establishing an eye care medical institute happened because we believed that we could make a tangible difference to people’s lives. And slowly, the rewards came trickling in. Soon, voluntary donations happened and now the Sankara Eye Bank has become one of the model eye banks for the entire nation.
IMAGINE A WORLD OF DARKNESS
Can you imagine a world of complete darkness? Eyes are one of the major sensory organs of life. A world without vision is a grim prospect. Think about the life of visually impaired person: you and I can see and enjoy this beautiful world, but they can only touch and feel them. By donating your eyes, you can enlighten the life of two blind persons. This gesture of yours would allow them to come out of darkness and step into a life full of colors. Corneal diseases are the major cause of visual impairment and blindness in a developing country. The only way to reduce blindness is by doing corneal transplant. In a country like India, with the high rates of blindness, there is a huge burden for corneal requirement. The number of corneal transplants performed are much less than the actual requirement due to the insufficient number of corneas collected. You can also make a difference by being a sight ambassador and creating awareness and motivating the families of the bereaved to donate.
EYE DONATION IS SIMPLE
JUST REMEMBER THESE GUIDELINES
I would like to donate my eyes and become a sight Ambassador. Please send me the donor card.
Donated human eyes are necessary in restoration of sight through corneal transplantation. Infants born with cloudy corneas have an opportunity to see following corneal transplantation. Additionally, it is also useful in Research and Education.
A corneal transplant is an operation which replaces the opaque cornea with a clear cornea obtained from a human donor eye.
(1) Infection (2) Injuries (3) Iatrogenic (Improper Post op care after an eye surgery) (4) Malnutrition (5) Congenital/Hereditary
Practically anyone from the age of 1 year. There is no maximum age limit.
Spectacle wearers, persons who had cataract surgery, diabetics and hypertensive individuals can donate eyes.
The eyes need to be collected within 6 hours of death. So, call the nearest eye bank as early as possible after death.
Things to do after making the call:
Keep both eyes of deceased closed and covered with moist cotton.Switch off the overhead fan.Raise the head end of the body by about 6 inches, if possible, to lessen the incidence of bleeding during the removal of the eyes.
Eye removal takes under 10 minutes and leaves no visible signs that would interfere with common funeral practices.
Donations give a gift of life or sight to others. As such, it is consistent with beliefs and attitudes of all major religions and ethical traditions.
Yes! The nearest kith and kin of the deceased person can contact any one of our centres to convey their intention to donate the eyes. The people concerned will be required to sign consent forms. For more details, please contact your nearest Sankara centre.
0422-4236789, 9965511174, 08182- 222122, 080 28542727, 0863 2594100
At the moment, our Eye Banks operate at Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Anand, Guntur, Kanpur and Shimoga. We are working towards starting Eye Banks in all our centres as well.
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