Chandigarh, August 29:
Health and Family Welfare Department Punjab is observing 37th Eye Donation Fortnight from 25th August to 8th September. In this 15-day campaign celebrated every year, health institutes and other stakeholders are encouraged to campaign for mass public awareness about eye donation and to motivate citizens to pledge their eyes after death.
Blindness is one of the major public health problems in our country. According to World Health Organization, corneal diseases (Damage to the tissue covering the front of eye called cornea) are among the major causes of vision loss and blindness, after cataract and glaucoma. Loss of sight due to Corneal damage can be corrected through a surgical procedure known as corneal transplantation or Keratoplasty, where the damaged cornea is replaced by a healthy cornea from the donor eye. There are a total of 13 registered eye banks and 30 Cornea Transplantation centres in Punjab.
Health and family Welfare Minister Punjab Chetan Singh Jauramajra made an appeal to the people of Punjab to come forward and pledge their eyes for donation after death and participate in the noble deed of giving the gift of sight to a needy. He stressed upon the urgent need to strengthen IEC (Information Education and Communication) component through Mass Media including digital media where we will be able to motivate the general public and retrieve more and more corneas.
Director Health and Family Welfare Punjab Dr. Ranjit Singh Ghotra while informing about the activities to be undertaken during this fortnight stated that myths and misconceptions relating to eye donation will be busted through awareness. Eye donation pledge forms are available in all District Hospitals,Sub-Division Hospitals and Vision Centres.Moreover now people can pledge to donate their eyes by simply registering online by logging on to the website Donation , after completion of the registration they can download and print their registration form.
Program Officer N.P.C.B.V.I. (National Program for Control of Blindness and Visual Impairment) Dr. Neeti Singla said that detailed guidelines have been issued to all the civil surgeons in Punjab to organize IEC activities during the fortnight to spread the message and to create awareness. The target is to clear the backlog of all the corneal blind patients. Inspite of the ongoing pandemic 835 Keraroplasty surgeries have been successfully conducted in the state in the year 2021-22.