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1st corneal bank established at KTH

December 05, 2018

PESHAWAR: The first corneal bank was inaugurated on Tuesday at Ophthalmology Department of Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) with the aim to store donated cornea for transplants.

Member Board of Governors (BoGs), Medical Teaching Hospitals (MTI/KTH) Professor Dr Shah Jehan Khan was the chief guest. He cut the ribbon to inaugurate the facility.

Ophthalmology Department Chairman Prof Dr Ibrar Hussain shed light on corneal disease, treatment, required equipment and staff for the facility to treat the patients.

He said the disease was the fourth leading cause of blindness around the globe, while second leading cause for blindness in developing countries.

Sharing data from a report of World Health Organisation (WHO) published in 2010, he said the number of people blinded from corneal blindness was 4.9 million.

Dr Ibrar Hussain said that 12.7 million people awaited corneal transplant while 53 percent of the world population had access to the facility. He said that 0.18 million corneal transplants were being conducted annually.

About the treatment of the disease, he said there were five types of corneal treatment including replacement, allografts, Penetrating Keratoplasty, Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) and Descem Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEX/DSEK).

He said that previously the doctors had to replace the entire cornea but now with the introduction of latest machines and techniques the damaged part in the cornea can be replaced to restore the patient’s sight. “Now four patients can be treated with a single cornea by replacing the affected tissues,” he added.

He said artificial cornea have also been developed to treat the corneal diseases.

Dr Ibrar Hussain said demand for quality corneal tissues in the country was high and supply was insufficient.

He said that very few people in the country donated cornea and the hospitals did not have the required equipment and resources to store them properly.

Dr Ibrar Hussain that corneas were imported from US, Sari Lanka and European countries to treat the patients.

He said the corneal bank would collect, preserve and store cornea/ocular tissues and distribute the same to surgeons for corneal grafting.

Dr Ibrar Hussain said cornea should be harvest within six hours from a dead person and stored properly.

He added the KTH had successfully done 132 corneal transplant including 67 Penetrating Keratoplasty, 10 patch craft, two DMEK, seven DSAEK, 36 DALK, five scleral graft, four BLT and one CLST in the last one year.

Deans, Khyber Medical College (KMC), Prof Dr Noorul Iman, said Rs4.5 million was required for procurement of the equipment for the corneal bank.

He said the KMC management was focusing on behavioral and professional capabilities of its students and introducing new ways and methods of learning to produce valuable doctors and health professional to serve the ailing humanity.

A former principal of KMC/KGMC and Bacha Khan Medical College Mardan Professor Dr Ziaul Islam said that very few people in the country donated eyes and cornea and awareness should be raised to motivate the people to donate generously to restore sights of the corneal patients.

Professor Dr Muhammad Dawood Khan announced Rs1 million for corneal bank and Rs50,000 for low eye vision centre.

Professor Dr Shah Jehan Khan termed the establishment of the bank a big step, adding that with the establishment of the facility the patients would get free treatment, which previously cost Rs0.2 million.

He said the facility would not only serve as storing and preparing cornea for transplant but also as training and research facility for the under and postgraduate students.

Dr Shah Jehan Khan pledged to put the demand for required equipment for the new department to the BoGs to procure the machines, hire the required manpower and provide other resources to the bank.

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