Hospitals in the city are looking at ways to harvest more corneas and reduce waiting time for patients.

Lions Eye Bank has mooted a proposal to recruit more coordinators and canvass for corneal donations at government hospitals in the city.

The eye bank has had a dedicated coordinator at Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital for many years now. The non-governmental organisation also helps with canvassing and transportation of donated corneas.

Under the proposal, four counsellors will be positioned at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (GH) and two at Government Stanley Hospital. The counsellors will be trained for six months before they are put on the job, said N.R. Dave, managing trustee of the eye bank.

The plan envisages partnership between public and private hospitals in the city.

Lions Eye Bank will be supported in its endeavour by Sight Life, a US-based organisation. Sankara Nethralaya is also a beneficiary of the project.

N.S. Rajarathinam, director of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology and Government Ophthalmic Hospital, said they receive around 7,000 to 10,000 corneas in a year, of which just about 55 per cent are usable.

“We harvest only two-thirds of the corneas while the rest go to other hospitals. Sight Life has come forward to help us retrieve 500 more corneas,” Dr. Rajarathinam said.

The proposal will be presented to the director of medical education for approval, Dr. Dave said.

He will also approach the deans of Madras Medical College, to which GH is attached, and Stanley Medical College for their support.

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