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Jan 25, 2009

Eye Bank At Govt Hospital Soon

MADURAI: An eye bank established at Government Rajaji Hospital here in association with Lions Clubs International will be inaugurated on Saturday. This facility is the first of its kind among Government hospitals in the southern region. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, P. Thiagarajan, Medical Director, Eye Bank, and Head, Department of Ophthalmology, said that 20 lakh people had been affected by corneal blindness, and if provided cornea in time, many of them could get back their vision.

This initiative was a joint effort with the Lions Clubs International, which donated Rs. 3 lakh, and the State Government’s Namakku Naame Thittam provided Rs. 6 lakh. These funds had been used to procure medical equipment. Other infrastructure would be acquired in a phased manner, he said. Similar eye banks had been planned at Government hospitals in Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Coimbatore. Madurai Aravind Eye Hospital provided the expertise — from training the medical staff and handling equipment such as specular microscopy. The cornea had to be removed within four hours of the donor’s death, he said. On the death of a person, the family members must inform the nearest eye bank so that the cornea could be collected.

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