Nagpur: There are around 4.5 crore blind persons in the world of whom 1/3rd i.e. 1.5 crore live in India. Maximum i.e. around 62.4% of blindness in the world is due to cataract which is successfully tackled by surgeries and this prevalence is decreasing over the years.
According to Professor and Head of the Department, Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College and Hospital Dr Ashok Madan Corneal blindness is one of the preventable & treatable causes of blindness worldwide accounting for around 25% of the total blindness in the world but it is still a neglected part due to multi-factorial reasons.
Corneal blindness accounts for around 1.5 crore blindness in the world with around 46 lakh cases exists in India and 35000 cases are added every year. Prevalence of Corneal blindness is increasing every year due to various causes of corneal blindness like Vitamin A deficiency, injuries (chemical , accidents, occupational), Infections, congenital causes, rarely after cataract surgeries.
There is an annual need of corneal transplantation to remove the backlog is 2,50,000; However, only around 50000 eye donations per year take place in India of which around 60% can be used for corneal transplantation.
In India every year approximately only 25000 people i.e. 0.3-0.4% of total deaths in India, actually donate their eyes thereby we collect only 50000 donated eyes. Every year around 15000 corneal transplantations take place in India. As per these stats it shows there is a lack of awareness about eye donation in India.
The relatives of many deceased have many misconceptions about eye donation like lack of awareness about truth and facts, their traditional beliefs and myths with eye donation and cultural stigma. It is essential to increase awareness among people to donate their eyes. To increase mouth to mouth advertisement about eye donations, proper recognition should be given to the relatives of donors.
Professor and Head of the Department, Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College and Hospital Dr Ashok Madan said that June 10, 2016 is being observed as Eye Donation Day to spread the awareness and donate eyes and to give sight to those in need.