National Eye Donation Campaign was launched recently by leading eye care hospital Shekhar Netralaya here in Bangalore today. The campaign is held every year to raise awareness on the need to donate eye to enable the visually disabled have a better quality of life. The campaign seeks to promote eye donation process and put forth the significant message to people for being the special part of eye donation or eye pledging for giving normal life to the common public. The event was started through the human chain and school children’s rally began from a government school named Kamaraj Government High in T Nagar here. The children did march on Ring road by getting a poster in their hands and say orally the reasons of eye donation. They cover a highly crowded area for drawing more attention and interest as well as getting a media coverage to distribute their messages to all over the world. The campaign was initiated by the Dr. Shekhar, MD of Shekhar Nethralaya from 91.1 Big FM radio channel today. He gave the message to the people to drive out myths of eye donation from their mind and make people aware about the decisive need of the eye to the general public. The message was also published in the popular Kannada periodicals. To have a wider reach to the public, members of the Kumar Shah Eye bank distributed the message through popular weekly Kannada magazines and also to the Corporates by holding camps in their offices to increase awareness of a larger number of people. Creating the awareness of eye donation to the large number of people may fulfill the critical needs of the eye pledge.
According to a report, one of the five blind people in the world are Indians which means India is home to approximately 46 lakhs visually impaired suffering from corneal blindness whereas eye donation rate is only about 35,000 per annum, not sufficient to meet the needs. There is a large gap between demand and supply of eyes.
The National campaign is celebrated nationally under the National Program for Control of Blindness. Every year, about 20,000 new cases of eye blindness are reported across the country. The majority of visually impaired people are the young due to injuries, infections, Vitamin A deficiencies, malnutrition, congenital or other factors and their eye sight can be restored through corneal transplantation only. Therefore it has become extremely necessary to educate people both young and the old to finish the gap between demand and supply of the cornea. To intensify mass education and awareness, the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology has established a control room where doctors and paramedics provide the detail information related to the eye bank.
But still, a lot needs to be done in this area. On being asked on the success of the campaign, Dr Shkehar said “Though the campaign was successful, we have got a long road ahead. We are also undertaking some other advertisement campaigns and going to educational institutions to make people aware of the precautions one need to adopt to maintain a healthy eye”. He said he was happy and his organization would be at the forefront of the eye movement in the country.
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