There are approximately 1.2 lakh corneal blind people in the country:PW Ingty

Shillong, September 08: In observance of the 32nd National Fortnight on Eye Donation, the office of the Director of Health Services (MI) in collaboration with the Meghalaya Blindness Control Society organized an Awareness Meet on Eye Donation on 8th September, 2017 at the Conference Hall of the State Medical Guest House, Directorate of Health Services, Health Complex, Shillong. National Fortnight on Eye Donation  is observed all over the country every year from 25th August to 8thSeptember.

Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Shri P. W. Ingty graced the programme as Chief Guest. Addressing the gathering, Shri P. W. Ingty informed that that there are approximately 1.2 lakh corneal blind people and many more with visual impairment due to corneal diseases in the country and about 20,000 new cases get added every year and majority of them are young and their sight can be restored only by corneal transplantation. Though there has been progress in eye donation, but only approximately over 65,000 eyes are collected every year with the efforts of all Eye Banks working in Government and Non-Government sectors in the country, he added. He also said that such awareness programmes is the need of the hour to bridge the gap between demand and supply of cornea and for people to come forward and pledge their eyes for donation.

Earlier, Dr. A. K. Das, Retd. DHS (MI) gave a speech on “Organ Donation”, while Dr. P. K. Goswami, Head of Department of Ophthalmology, NEIGRIHMS and Dr. J. V. Basaiawmoit, Director, Bansara Eye Care Centre gave a power-point presentation on “Eye Donation & Eye Bank” and “Preventive Aspects of Corneal Blindness”respectively. During the programme, students from Bansara Institute of Ophthalmic Sciences performed a short skit on Eye Donation. Dr. R. O. Budnah, Director of Health Services (MI), Dr. D. Lyngdoh, Director of Health Services (MCH&FW) and Dr (Mrs) Y. A. Phira, State Nodal Officer, Organ Transplant was also present during the programme.

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