What is an eye bank?
An eye bank is a crucial institution dedicated to the preservation and distribution of donated corneas, specifically focused on restoring vision. An eye bank plays a vital role in procuring and meticulously evaluating corneal tissues from deceased donors, making them available for transplantation to those in need. By facilitating corneal transplants, eye banks bestow the gift of sight upon individuals suffering from corneal issues.
Addressing the pressing issue of corneal blindness is paramount, especially considering its significant contribution to global visual impairment. Among the estimated 2.2 billion visually impaired individuals worldwide, a substantial 4.2 million are afflicted by corneal blindness, underscoring its profound impact on global blindness statistics. Corneal blindness refers to a condition where individuals experience reduced or compromised vision due to the loss of transparency or distortion of the cornea’s shape, while their retina and optic nerve functions remain predominantly healthy.
One remarkable solution to combat corneal blindness is through cornea donation or eye donation. In India, this noble act holds the potential to transform lives by restoring vision to those who have lost it due to corneal diseases or injuries. At Centre for Sight, we are committed to promoting and facilitating eye donation to combat preventable blindness.
What Is The Need For The Eyes Donation?
Corneal blindness is treated by replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy donated human cornea. The human cornea is provided only through eye donation.
Though India has highly qualified surgeons and well-equipped hospitals, we do not have enough corneal donation to meet the demand and tackle the present burden of corneal blindness.
Eye Donation in India
Eye donation in India operates through a well-organized network of eye banks and hospitals dedicated to preserving and transplanting corneas. When you decide to donate your eyes, you become instrumental in bringing light to the lives of those suffering from corneal blindness.
Eligibility for Eye Donation:
- Age: Donors should generally be between the ages of 1 to 80 years.
- Medical History: A donor’s medical history should not include certain infectious diseases or conditions that could affect the suitability of the donated eyes.
- Eye Condition: Donors should ideally have healthy eyes with clear corneas, although some eye banks may accept corneas with specific conditions, subject to evaluation.
The Pledging Process:
Pledging one’s eyes for donation is a simple yet profound commitment. Interested individuals can register as eye donors through various platforms, including eye banks, hospitals, and online registration portals. During the pledging process, donors provide their consent to donate their corneas upon their demise.
Post-Pledging and Donation:
After pledging, when a donor passes away, their family or a designated representative should promptly inform the nearest eye bank or a relevant authority. A team from the eye bank will then visit the donor’s location to retrieve the corneas. The procedure is conducted with utmost care and respect, ensuring no disfigurement to the donor’s body. After retrieval, the corneas are preserved and made available for transplantation.
Eye Donation In India Is Easy
- Eyes are donated soon after the demise of a person.
- The entire eyeball isn’t removed but only the cornea, which leads to no disfigurement of the donor’s body.
- The process is supervised by a registered medical practitioner who ensures proper process execution keeping the dignity of the donor in mind
- No religion opposes eye donation in India
- The entire process takes about twenty minutes
- A single eye donation in India may help in providing the vision to two visually impaired individuals.
- The act of eye donation in India is free of cost. To sell or buy human organs, eyes, and other human tissues is an illegal act and punishable by law
- The donated eyes reach the people according to the list maintained by the eye banks in India
Pledge Your Eyes With Centre for Sight Eye Bank
We have joined the crusade against corneal blindness by setting up the Centre for Sight Eye Bank to encourage eye donations in India by bringing about a change in the mindset of the people. With the support of our patrons and patients, our eye banks in India seek to bring light into the lives of those who have corneal blindness. Our eye bank in Delhi is located in Preet Vihar.
Centre for Sight eye bank is registered under the Transplantation of Human Organ and Tissues Act (THOA), 1994.
We have 9 cornea transplant centres across the country.
Centre for Sight eye bank is a member of the Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI).
We have a helpline number on which anyone can contact us anytime, 8468004687.
We have a designated team of highly qualified and trained cornea surgeons, who successfully perform appreciable numbers of corneal transplants every year.
How can you pledge to donate the eyes?
- The eye donation form is available in all major eye hospitals and eye banks in India.
- The form is also available online on the official website of the Eye Bank Association of India (https://www.ebai.org/donator-registration/)
- It is essential to inform your family members or legal representative about the decision. In such cases, a donor card can be provided to be used at the time of actual eye donation in India.
- Eyes can be donated with the consent of the family members if the eye bank is informed after the demise of the donor.
- Only corneal blind people can be benefited through this process. It is an act of charity, purely for the benefit of society and is voluntary.
- When you pledge to donate your eyes, motivate others as well for donating their eyes so that a blind person can see the world through your eyes. The solution for eliminating corneal blindness lies in our hands. We have the power to give the “Gift of Sight” to the people. After all, eyesight is the greatest gift one can give or receive. It’s time for you to take the pledge and make someone’s life beautiful. Don’t think twice before registering as an eye donor! Eye donation is an act of donating one’s eyes after his/her demise. Our eye bank in Delhi and other centres await your arrival for this noble cause.
What happens after eye donation in India?
- Eye bank in India acknowledges the donor’s family with a certificate of appreciation.
- The medical team takes the collected eyes to the eye bank for the evaluation.
- In the eye bank, various tests are performed to assess the quality of the donated tissue.
- As per the waiting list, the recipients are contacted for a corneal transplant.
- Corneal transplant is performed and followed up by a trained cornea surgeon.
Eye donation is an act of incredible compassion that offers the gift of sight to those in need. It not only transforms the lives of recipients but also contributes to the advancement of ophthalmic research and education. At Centre for Sight, we actively encourage individuals to pledge their eyes and play a crucial role in alleviating corneal blindness in India. Through our dedicated eye banks and compassionate team, we are committed to ensuring that every donated eye is utilized to its fullest potential, bringing light and hope to countless lives across the nation. Join us in the mission to eliminate preventable blindness and make a lasting impact through eye donation.