Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital is collaborating with American NGO to build Pakistan’s first ever Eye Bank. They will jointly work and collect corneal donations from all over the country.
Eversight Vision is the American NGO which will work with Al-Shifa on this project. The agreement has been done between the two and Eversight Vision will provide the modern equipment. Training will be given to doctors at Al-Shifa so that they securely save and store cornea for research work and transplants.
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International standard storage facilities are being built at the Al-Shifa Eye Hospital in Rawalpindi. All important procedures like removal of the cornea from the donor to testing of the blood will be done at the hospital, as explained by Lt. Gen (Retd) Hamid Javaid, President of Al-Shifa Trust.
Hamid Javaid said that the step they are taking will create awareness amongst the public for eye donation. He informed that Pakistan lack of awareness and cultural boundaries are biggest hurdles in the donation of an eye.
Adding, “We are receiving free of cost cornea from the USA but the transportation cost is 600 dollars per cornea while we are conducting eighty corneal transplants per month, the highest number in Pakistan, which will be increased after the eye bank becomes operational in six months.”
Lt. Gen (Retd) Hamid Javaid said that in Pakistan there is no storage facility to store the cornea which is a big hindrance in the restoration of eyesight for the blind people.
He feels that the government need to play its essential role to support this cause and launch a campaign for eye donations.
It is pertinent to mention here that any person who wishes to donate cornea needs to fill a consent form after which he/she will be issued a card that has to be carried all the time.