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Nepal Eye Bank

Nepal Eye Bank

Introduction of Nepal Eye Bank:

Nepal Eye Bank is a non-profitable community-based organization working for restoring the sight to the corneal blind. Once the cornea develops its opacification there is no other treatment except corneal transplantation. So, Nepal Eye Bank was established on 16th September 1994 at Tilganga Eye Centre. 

The Aim of the Eye Bank:

Corneal Blindness is the second major cause of blindness after cataract in Nepal. Nepal Eye Bank is responsible for the 
  • procurement, 
  • processing, 
  • storage and
  • distribution 
of donated corneas. Besides this, it also runs public awareness programs for cornea donation through Eye Donation Society, Which is a group of volunteers from the various social organization. Nepal eye bank keeps records of all corneal donors and pledgers. It also registers patients Who are waiting for corneal transplantation. Nepal Eye Bank is working with vision and mission of eliminating corneal blindness by real-time transplantation in Nepal and beyond. It is being established as a National Center for eye banking and is working with international standard quality.
Corneal Scar
Corneal Opacity
After COrneal Transplant
After Cornea Transplant

What is Cornea? How does corneal opacity develop?

Cornea is the clear transparent layer in front of the eye. Due to various factors, the cornea may become opaque like frosted glass and this may result in loss of sight.

In Nepal, most of the people live in the village and depend upon agriculture. Agricultural and other industrial trauma to the cornea, corneal infections and lack of immediate medical to corneal problems result in a large number of corneal blind in developing countries like ours. Besides this, sometimes complications of diseases like measles, typhoid, smallpox, malnutrition, eye surgeries etc. may cause the cornea to become opaque.

Corneal Transplantation: The Treatment of Corneal Blindness 

The treatment of corneal blindness is corneal transplantation. It is the process of surgical removal of the opaque or unhealthy cornea and replacing it with the healthy cornea from the donor cornea of a deceased person. Later the transplanted cornea becomes a part of the recipient's eye. The rate of success of corneal transplantation is high in comparison to other organ transplantation. So, a human corneal transplant can restore sight and enable a person to regain independence.

Who can become a corneal donor?

Most people think that to become an eye donor, they should have good vision. But the truth is that anyone can be as eye donor even if the donor is old, wears glasses or is blind from causes other than corneal diseases. However, if a person has Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Syphilis or blood-borne infectious diseases, s/he can’t donate eyes.

How long after death can eyes be donated?

After death, the donor eyes should be well closed and be protected from red powder (Abhir) and direct sunlight to protect corneas. The corneas are removed from the donor within 8 to 12 hours after death. Earlier the cornea is removed after the death, better is the quality of cornea. 

Does Removal of Eye Disfigure the face of the donor?

No, The eye bank technologist or doctor will treat the dead body with respect and only the cornea is removed from the eyes (Not the whole eyeball). So removal of the cornea doesnot disfigure the appearance of the face.

How do you donate your eyes after passing away?

It is better to discuss eye donation with your family and friend. Donating corneal tissue doesn't entail any cost to the donor or the donor's family. If you decide to become an eye donor, please complete and sign an eye donation pledge card available at Nepal Eye Bank, Tilganga Eye Centre with two witnesses from your family and friends.

Corneas can be donated even if it is not pledged. The closest kin/relatives of deceased can give consent to the eye bank staffs to excise cornea.  Eye bank staffs can be contacted any time. This process is facilitated by Eye Donation Counselors and Eye Bank Technician who stay in different hospitals.
Source: Eye Bank Brochure, Nepal Eye Bank 

For more info:
Nepal Eye Bank
Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology
G.P.O Box 561
Tel: 977-1-4493684, 4493775