Kathmandu: The eye bank was established on the 16th of September 1994 to provide corneal transplant service in the country. As Nepal’s only eye bank, TIO has been harvesting, processing and preserving corneas for the past 25 years, a TIO release said.
Over 75,000 persons have vowed to donate their cornea to Nepal Eye Bank at Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology posthumously, while around 15,000 persons have withdrawn their vision after corneal transplant.
In the early years, after receiving permission from the concerned relatives of the techniques would extract corneal tissue from the body brought to the funeral home in PashupatiAryaghat.
These days, representatives of the eye bank are providing consultation and information for visiting eye patients at Bir, TU Teaching, Gangalal and Patan hospitals. A regional cornea collection centers have established in Biratnagar, Lahan, Hetauda, Bharatpur, Pokhara, Lumbini, and Kailali.
According to TIO, Nepal is self-sufficient in corneal transplants. There was a time when corneas used to bring transplants from abroad to Nepal, but now they are collected from within the country.
TIO’s Dr. according to Dr. Reeta Gurung, the corneal tissue is usable for up to four days when kept in a suitable condition. Dr. Gurung said -“The special memorial service aims to encourage more people to pledge cornea donation and share experience of persons who benefited from corneal transplant.”
Eye Bank is supported by the International Federation of Eye and Tissue Bank and adheres to the standards set by the International Organization. Mr. Nirmal Lama (a late political leader) and Mr. Kedarman Beth (a late literary figure) were the leading eye donors, who inspired others to follow the same.