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LV Prasad Eye Institute creates milestone in corneal transplants in rural India

Cornea transplant surgery done in June 2016 at L V Prasad Eye Institute's secondary eye centre in Mudhole, Nirmal district, Telangana.
Cornea transplant surgery done in June 2016 at L V Prasad Eye Institute's secondary eye centre in Mudhole, Nirmal district, Telangana.

LV Prasad Eye Institute creates milestone in corneal transplants in rural India Completes 100 transplants in ruralcentre network

Hyderabad,
April 12, 2019
: India is home to half of the world’s
blind population. Out of the 15 million blind people in the country, 6.8
million arevictims of corneal blindness and this number is expected to rise to
10.6 million by 2020. In India, where poverty is still widespread, corneal
blindness is most often found in underprivileged and underserved populations.  This month on 5th April, LV Prasad
Eye Institute (LVPEI)’s 100th corneal transplant in rural centre eye
care network was performed at its Mudhole secondary eye centre.

According
to a press release the journey of providing complex surgical care right at the
doorsteps of rural communities started in March 2016 with the first corneal transplant
being performed at the Institute’s Dhulipalla secondary eye centre in Guntur
District. In a span of just three years, the secondary centre networks in
Mudhole (Nirmal District), Dhullipalla (Guntur District), Venkatachalam (Nellore
District) and Paloncha (Bhadradri Kothagudem District) have collectively performed
a hundred corneal transplants.

According
to a press release,

“LVPEI
believes in its vision of providing equitable and efficient eye care to all
sections of society. Its Eye Health Pyramid model provides high quality comprehensive
eye care and is equipped with excellent infrastructure, with permanent
facilities in remote rural villages to perform complex surgeries.”

Congratulating
his team of surgeons and eye banking experts, Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Founder and Chair, LV Prasad Eye Institute said,

“This
achievement is an example of a “road never travelled”. From a situation when I
was told to forget corneal transplantation as it is an impossibility in India
just about 32 years ago when we founded the L V Prasad Eye Institute, we have
now achieved this remarkable feat. Several in our team have worked hard to make
this happen and I thank them for making us proud.”   

He
said, “Over the past 32 years, LVPEI has worked to greatly increase the
collection of transplantable donor corneas and elevate eye bankingperformance
standards in India, other parts of Asia and the developing world. The
institute’s expert cornea surgeons have been able to achieve exceptional
outcomes of transplantation surgeries thanks in large measure to the high
standards of eye banking, besides their own world class training and
expertise.Established in 1989, the Ramayamma International Eye Bank (RIEB) at
LVPEI is the largest provider of sight restoring corneas in India and a
SightLife Centre of Excellence in Eye Banking.”

Dr Gullapalli N Rao said,

In”
2015, LV Prasad Eye Institute had created history in the field of Corneal
Transplantation by becoming the first single Institute ever in the world to
achieve 20,000 corneal transplants across its network.”

Some
of the most prevalent indications of corneal transplant include severe corneal
infection, corneal degeneration, trauma, workplace injury, corneal scarring,
corneal opacity that is often secondary to cataract surgery and inherited
diseases of the cornea. However, the surgery is usually restricted to larger
urban centres with access to an eye bank. Often, it is a financial burden to
the poor farm labour in rural villages as they must forego their daily wages to
undergo treatment in a city, besides spending from their pockets for their
travel and stay.“LVPEI’s rural secondary eye centres arefully equipped
facilities that routinely perform cataract and simple glaucoma surgeries. But
now since the past three years, we have successfully scaled up our secondary
centres’ medical and surgical reach to the doorsteps of India’s rural
hinterlands by performing complex surgeries. Patients no longer have to travel
to a bigger city for eye care. The staff at our secondary centres are
adequately trained to take care of post-operative care of corneal transplant
patients,” Dr Rao added.

About
L V Prasad Eye Institute

According to a press release the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) was established in 1987 at Hyderabad as a not-for-profit, non-government, public-spirited, comprehensive eye care institution. LVPEI is governed by two trusts: the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation. The Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Centre for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. LVPEI has ten active arms to its areas of operations: Clinical Services, Education, Research, Vision Rehabilitation, Rural and Community Eye Health, Eye Banking, Advocacy and Policy Planning, Capacity Building, Innovation and Product Development.

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