As per the national reports, it has emerged that number of eye donations in India has come down remarkably, with Maharashtra standing sixth, despite having the largest number of eye banks in the country.
The national data recently presented in Lok Sabha by Anupriya Patel, the minister of state, health and family welfare, stated that state recorded only 936 out of total 14,474 (6%) eye donations in India between April and July 25 this year.
Maharashtra with 74 eye banks, which is 20 per cent of India’s eye banks, has managed 23,311 eye donations from March 2015 to July 2018. Surprisingly, within the same period Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat achieved higher targets.
When authorities were questioned over the lower targets, officials claimed that myths among people in the country are still strong.
“In some communities, the eye donation is barred because of their religious beliefs. Such myths need to be busted to make sure more eye donations take place in the state,” said Dr TP Lahane, former dean and head of ophthalmology department, Sir JJ Hospital.
Speaking over the concerning issue of blindness and less eye donators, The Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu said that “Eye donation, a most noble act after death, can alleviate blindness and restore vision in those with corneal blindness. We need to increase eye care facilities to treat cataract problems.”
Dr Radhika Tandon from Indian Eye Bank Association said there is an urgent need to create a strong network of larger eye banks in metro cities with major hospitals to increase donations and transplant surgeries. She added that the state governments, and corporates, need to spend more funds to create awareness and networking to improve the eye donation.