Hyderabad-based L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) has claimed to have performed 20,000 corneal transplant operations across its network of hospitals countrywide, a world record. The Cornea Centre of Excellence at LVPEI is the largest in the world.
“L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) has created history in the field of corneal transplantation by becoming the first institute in the world to achieve 20,000 corneal transplants across its network,” said the institute in a statement.
The LV Prasad Institute in Hyderabad said it was a significant world record achieved in the 25th year of establishment of LVPEI’s Ramayamma International Eye Bank, the largest eye bank in Asia.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan has commended the efforts of the LVPEI and its commitment to quality eye care, and urged all hospitals to emulate LVPEI’s model of affordable and low cost healthcare within the reach of common man.
“We have a concentration of hospitals in urban pockets and lack of proper medical facilities for rural populace. These hospitals, instead of opening more branches in the cities, should move to rural areas,” the governor said.
The eye bank at LVPEI was established in 1989 with grant from the family of Gunnam Ramayamma and technical support from the International Federation of Eye Banks of Baltimore, USA to bridge the gap between the need and availability of quality donor corneas, and to create a Centre of Excellence in eye banking. The other major support came from Eyesight International of Canada, SightLife of Seattle in the USA and Orbis International.
“This achievement should help raise the confidence that we can achieve similar success in all other areas of organ transplantation and that Indians can be convinced to donate organs,” said Dr Gullapalli N Rao – Founder and Chair, L V Prasad Eye Institute.
Corneal disease is a major cause of blindness in India. Of the 10 million blind in India, 1.1 million are blind in both eyes due to corneal disease, injury or infection. Corneal transplantation is the only known cure for corneal blindness, which is made possible by the donation of healthy corneas by individuals upon their death.
Over the past 25 years, LVPEI has worked to increase the collection of transplantable donor corneas and elevate eye banking performance standards in India, other parts of Asia and the developing world.