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10 Reasons Why You Should Register as a Cornea Donor

The medical science behind organ donation is progressing at an unprecedented rate – but it is still vital to overcome the public’s reluctance to register their eyes for donation. Here are the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute’s top ten reasons why you should register as a cornea donor.

Corneal Blindness is One of the Major Global Causes of Blindness

There are an estimated 4.9 million people worldwide who are corneally blind in both eyes. It is the second biggest cause of blindness indeveloping countries. Of the 10 million blind people in India alone, 1.1 million have corneal blindness.

Corneal Transplants are the Only Known Cure

Removing all or part of a damaged cornea and replacing it with healthy donor tissue is currently the only known way of reversing the effects of corneal blindness.

The Success Rate is Extremely High

In around 85% of corneal transplant operations, the transplanted tissue is accepted by the host body, successfully restoring the recipient’s vision.

Corneal Donations are Very Easy to Carry Out

Since the Tej Kohli Foundation partnered with the LV Prasad Eye Institute as part of the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute in 2015, the lives of almost 60,000 people have been transformed through improved vision, and the LV Prasad Eye Institute actually broke the world record for corneal transplants in one year, by performing 2000 transplants in a year. The record-breaking transplant was Dr. Bhupesh Bagga’s tenth of the day, underlining both the simplicity of the procedure, and our tireless efforts.

Matching Donors with Recipients Improves the Procedure

Research by the Collaborative Corneal Transplant Studies suggests that corneal transplants are most successful when donors and recipients are matched by blood type. An increase in the number of donations improves the likelihood of compatible donor tissue being available.

Almost Anyone Can be a Donor

The number of factors limiting people from becoming cornea donors is extremely small. There are only a handful of infections and highly communicable diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis, that exclude people from becoming donors.

Many Donors Still Opt Out

There is a reluctance among the public to donate their eyes. In the UK, 10% of organ donors withhold consent for certain organs, with eyes by far the most common. 55% of organ donors who requested for specific organs not to be donated, did so for their eyes.

There is Little Visible Effect

One understandable reason people are often reticent to donate their eyes is that they are worried about disfigurement to their body, especially if it will be viewed by mourners. However, only the thin, clear tissue covering the front of the eye is donated, leaving the appearance of the donor unchanged.

Many Religions Encourage Donation

Another reason many people are hesitant to donate their corneas is that they are unsure if it is accepted by their religion. Most major world religions, including Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, either accept or actively encourage organ donation.

Corneal Blindness Could be Controlled by 2030

The Tej Kohli Foundation is developing a network of cornea institutes across India and aims to expand these around the world with the intention of controlling corneal blindness by 2030. Its strategy will include treatment and education programmes, as well as groundbreaking medical research.

At Tej Kohli philanthropy is one of our primary concerns, but charity doesn’t only include financial contributions. Register as a cornea donor to become a part of our fight against global corneal blindness, and do something life-changing today.