Sight Life, a Seattle-based eye bank, has doubled its annual number of corneal transplants with Indian partners to 5,622.

The US-based organisation has partnered 10 Indian eye banks in the last three years to expand its operations. It first established a corneal-tissue-cutting centre at the Ramayamma International Eye Bank at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute a couple of years ago.

An estimated 1.1 million people in India are visually impaired in both eyes due to corneal disease, injury and infection.

Governor of Washington State Chris Gregoire today inaugurated state-of-the-art equipment at the Centre. On a visit here as part of a trade mission, she said Sight Life was creating jobs at home in Washington.

Gullapalli N. Rao, founder and Distinguished Chair of Eye Health at the Institute, said, “The Ramayamma International Eye Bank will be the first centre in the Asia-Pacific region to have taken a step in this direction to make the pre-cut donor corneas available to all interested corneal surgeons. This not only reduces the overall cost of the surgery for both the patients and the surgeons but also standardises the procedure.”

somasekhar.m@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 3, 2012)
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