Eye Bank with new and advanced facilities come up in BHU 

Eye Bank with new and advanced facilities come up in BHU 

In line with its commitment to provide best and affordable healthcare to people, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, has established an ‘Eye Bank’ with new and advanced facilities. It is the only Eye Bank in Banaras region in a public institution with such modern infrastructure. The infrastructural facilities in the Eye Bank have been provided by TATA Trust, HANS foundation and a linkage with LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, as a part of MOU towards capacity building of Eye institutions. LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, is a leading Eye institute in the country and has achieved new milestones in the area of corneal transplantation.

The BHU Eye Bank is striving for collection of donated eyes, evaluation of corneas and distribution and educating the community towards corneal transplantation. The donated cornea has a crucial layer called the “endothelium” which has a limited number of cells. BHU Eye Bank has the facility of seeing the structure of these cells and counting these cells, which reflects the probable longevity of the tissue, once implanted. It also has a bearing on the chances of success of the transplanted tissue. The Eye Bank has trained grief counselors who also assist processing of the harvested corneal tissue. Equipped with latest facilities, the Eye Bank has a dedicated refrigerator, storage and tissue evaluation facility. It maintains a prioritized list of recipients for instance, as per the needs and requirements of the patients.

Globally, the figures about visual impairment are quite concerning. About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide, of which about 39 million are blind and the rest have severe to moderate visual impairment. Out of which 80% suffer visual impairment because of preventable causes. In India, according to rough estimates, there are 15 million blind people, of which majority are children or young adults. About 6.8 million of these suffer from blindness due to corneal diseases. About 3 million of these can be benefitted by Keratoplasty i.e. corneal transplantation. The number of Keratoplasty in India, prior to Covid, was 50,000 per year, which dropped to more than half during the pandemic. Hence, having an Eye Bank with advanced facilities can make a big difference when it comes to Keratoplasty. The BHU Eye bank also has the Hospital corneal retrieval program, wherein, those breathing their last in the BHU Hospital are motivated towards donation of cornea. BHU Eye Bank functions as an autonomous body under the Head of the Department, following the provisions laid down under the Human Organ Transplant Act 1994.