With only 2 per cent of eye banks active in matters related to cornea donation across the country, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) RP Eye Centre, is planning to use drones to transport cornea tissues to the transplantation centres, said Dr Jeevan Titiyal, Chairman of the National Eye Bank at AIIMS.
"Last year, AIIMS retrieved about 2,234 cornea tissues which is the highest number till date in the past 50 years. We transplanted at least 1,426 cornea tissues with 65 per cent of utilisation rate compared nationally," Dr Titiyal said at the 34th National Eye Donation Fortnight celebrations here.
Dr Titiyal informed that soon the RP Eye Centre may start using drones to transport cornea tissues from remote areas to the transplantation centres.
"The project is under discussion with IIT Delhi. These drones would help in transporting cornea tissues to transplant centres or where the patient waiting-list is long for surgeries. Once, the project is up, it will serve Delhi-NCR as a pilot project," Dr Titiyal said.
Dr Namrata Sharma, Secretary, Eye Bank Association of India and Professor of Opthalmology at RP Eye Centre said that only 15 eye banks are registered across the country.
"There are more than 760 institutional members registered with the Eye Bank Association of India. But 15 Eye banks are active i.e. only 2 per cent," Dr Namrata told ANI here.
"Overall, we have collected 5,7996 cornea tissues last year, out of which 2,6682 were transplanted. The data showed the growth rate of about 29 per cent since 2012," she added.
Dr Sharma also said that 74 per cent of corneas were contributed by seven states. "74 per cent of corneas are contributed by seven states - Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.
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