Bhopal: Corneal transplantation surgery was performed on Idris Ansari, 43, a resident of Gandhi Nagar at Hamidia Hospital about three months back but Idris, who is a porter, who had very weak vision in his left eye, could not see at all from his right one. Despite surgery, his vision has not been restored. “I was hopeful that after the operation, I would be able to see. But God willed otherwise”, says Idris, who is the sole bread-winner of his family.
Shaifa Bano, 5, of Itarsi also can’t see from her right eye transplanted in the Hospital.And these are not isolated cases either. RTI activist Pradeep Khandelwal says over the past one year, around 60 such surgeries were conducted on visually-impaired persons at Hamidia Hospital. “Around 30 per cent of them cannot see and the doctors are taking it casually”, he says.
Khandelwal also alleged that according to the norms, surgeries should be performed on the first-come-first-served basis but many patients are being allowed to jump the waiting list. Head of Ophthalmology Department Dr Kavita Kumar, however, finds nothing amiss in this. According to her, the body sometimes rejects the transplanted cornea. “This is called corneal graft rejection and its rate in our hospital is lower than other hospitals”, she said. “Many patients are seeing better after getting treated in the hospital. Our success rate is much higher than other five-star hospitals,” she said.
Less than 1% donate eyes
In India more than one lakh corneas are needed for transplantation every year. If the backlog is to be cleared, the annual need stands at 2.5 lakhs. Lack of awareness is the prime reason behind the shortfall with regards to corneas. Out of 7.5 lakh deaths annually, less than one percent donates their eyes.
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