Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Ophthalmologist appeals to Nigerians to donate corneas before they die

Dr Abiola Oyeleye, a Consultant Ophthalmologist, has appealed to Nigerians to imbibe the culture of donating their corneas while still alive for harvesting after death to help blind regain sight.

Oyeleye, the Medical Director of Eye Doctor’s, made the plea at the Investiture Ceremony of Adebimpe Bello, as the President of Anthony Village Emerald Lions Club in Lagos.

The consultant ophthalmologist said that cornea donation was necessary for the preservation and restoration of sight to people with corneal blindness.

He said that one cornea donor could restore sight to two people.

Corneal blindness is a profound decrease in vision or blindness due to diseases of the cornea.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), corneal blindness is the fourth most common cause of blindness globally, accounting for over five per cent of the total blind population.

A cornea transplant often referred to as Keratoplasty or corneal graft is an operation to remove all or part of a damaged cornea and replace it with healthy donor tissue.

Oyeleye said in over 20 years, the Lagos Eye Bank had only obtained two corneal grafts locally, adding that all other grafts used were obtained from Asia.

According to him, corneal transplants is life-saving and life-giving to improve sight, relieve pain and treat severe infection or damage to a living blind person.

He said that one of the hindrances to corneal donation in Nigeria was the myths of reincarnation.

Oyeleye said many people would say that they need their eyes to see when they come back to the world.