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Telangana govt launches ‘Kantiki Velugu’ programme to provide free diagnosis of eyes to each and every individual in state

A Raju, Hyderabad
Friday, June 15, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

For the first time in the entire south India, the Telangana state government has established first of its kind ‘Eye Bank’ under government sector at Sarojini Devi Government Eye Hospital in Hyderabad.

With this, the health department of government of Telangana is planning to launch its much awaited ‘Kantiki Velugu’ programme, wherein the government is planning to provide free diagnosis of eyes to each and every individual in the state and upon detecting patients suffering with chronic eye diseases will be provided free treatment and even help in corneal transplantation and is expected to provide eye-care services to the poor in the state.

For setting up the eye bank facility, the state government had spent Rs.1 crore and had equipped with all the necessary infrastructure facilities and instruments required for facilitating corneal transplantation. While inaugurating the Eye Bank at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital, Health Minister Dr. C. Laxma Reddy said, “The state government of Telangana is all set to launch the Kantiki Velugu programme and as part of this we are preparing ground to ensure that the state government is well equipped to help provide the poor free eye-care services. We have spent around Rs.1 crore to establish first of its eye bank under government sector. We have established post operative air conditioned wards and also providing ambulances equipped for transporting cornea.”

The health minister said the state government’s proposed Kantiki Velugu programme is aimed at detecting the patients suffering with various eye related diseases in the state. He said about 10 per cent of blindness can cured by corneal transplant surgery, which costs from Rs.50,000 and Rs.1 lakh and is generally done in private sector hospitals. “Poor people in the villages do not have financial support for getting their eyes treated. For them the state government of Telangana will provide free corneal transplantation and the eye bank established in the government sector will come as a great help supporting this cause,” observed the health minister.

Earlier, though Sarojini Devi Government Eye Hospital had carried out various eye related surgeries, it was not able to take up corneal surgeries as there were no proper facilities to store the donated corneas. Healthcare experts opined that corneal donations are a tricky endeavour considering the fact that they have to be transplanted within 24 hours or have to be stored at an eye bank for preservation, which can be done only for 14 days. Due to this reason, only 30-40 per cent of the donations are utilized properly.

However, with the state government coming forward to establish its own eye bank in the state, this will enable the healthcare experts and well trained team of eye care surgeons at Sarojini Devi government hospital to carry out corneal transplantation with more ease.


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