Correspondent

Rs. 30 lakhs to be spent on site and building construction

Eye Foundation trustees donate Rs. 50,000 eachNeed to allay fears on eye donation stressed

Kakinada: An eye bank at a cost of Rs.1 crore is being set up here under the aegis of the Kakinada Eye Foundation, according to its chairman Badam Balakrishna.

At a press conference on Tuesday, he said that an ambulance was being readied to take up awareness campaign in rural areas on the importance of eye donation. The eye bank would be located in Satya Bhaskara Jeevan Sandhya, the home for the aged, at the NFCL road.

Of the total cost, Rs.30 lakhs would be spent on site and construction of building and Rs.30 lakhs on equipment, while Rs. 40 lakhs would be set aside for corpus fund, he said.

Mr. Balakrishna said that about Rs. 20,000 was required monthly for payment of wages to counsellors and technicians and for carrying out awareness campaign. The organisation would mobilise the required resources from philanthropic public. The Foundation has nineteen trustees including eye specialists and doctors. All these trustees had donated Rs.50,000 each, he said.

Doctor Ravula Sriram said that as against the total one crore visually challenged persons in the country, corneal blind are twenty lakhs, of whom 70 per cent could be freed from corneal blindness by cornea grafting.

Misapprehension

In Andhra Pradesh alone, he said, one lakh people were suffering from corneal blindness that may be attributed to injuries, infections, hereditary factors and malnutrition.

He said all those could regain their sight by corneal grafting.

Dr. Sriram said there were misapprehensions on eye donation, which needed to be allayed as only the cornea of the eye would be collected after the death of the person that too within four to six hours of death.

The cornea so collected would be implanted to those suffering from cornea defect enabling them to regain the sight.