More child eye donors in Tamil Nadu as awareness increases

More child eye donors in Tamil Nadu as awareness increases
Highlights

Tamil Nadu marshals the country in eye donations and Madurai district tops the state on that count, but a noble trend has been catching up in the state since past one year of people coming forward to donate the eyes of their young children, something that was rare earlier

MADURAI: Tamil Nadu marshals the country in eye donations and Madurai district tops the state on that count, but a noble trend has been catching up in the state since past one year of people coming forward to donate the eyes of their young children, something that was rare earlier.

Ophthalmologists say there has been a rise in such cases, probably because of awareness drives like the national eye donation fortnight being observed from August 25. Director, Aravind Eye Care systems, Dr N V Prajna told a source that donation of eyes of little children was something unique to the region. “Earlier, we saw people coming forward to donate the eyes of their parents and elders, but parents donating the eyes of their children is a different gesture. Losing one’s child is the worst kind of grief and to think of donating its eyes to another person in such times humbles us,’’ he said.

Usually, parents of children are not counselled about organ donation as convincing them in their period of grief is a difficult task. However, the cases cited here show that in recent times the awareness drives had started yielding results. The success of the eye donation campaign is being attributed to the excellent public private partnership, where police, medical staff at the government and private hospitals and public co-ordinated well. “Unlike other organs, most of the recipients for corneas come from very poor background and giving them eyes is giving them back their livelihood,’’ said Prajna.

Aravind Eye care systems has now started manufacturing ‘cornisol’, a solution to preserve harvested cornea using American technology. This extends the preservation period of harvested cornea from two days to 15 days. Last year, Aravind Hospitals received 2,500 corneas of which 1,000 were used in Madurai.

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