HYDERABAD, India--()--The Association of Eye Banks of Asia (AEBA), an umbrella organization for major Asian eye banks and eye banking organizations, presented its inaugural award for “pioneering contributions to eye banking in Asia” to Dr. Gullapalli N Rao, Founder-Chair of L V Prasad Eye Institute here. The award was presented at the 3rd Asia Cornea Society Biennial Scientific Meeting held in Manila, November 27 to 29.
“pioneering contributions to eye banking in Asia”
Dr. Rao developed the first eye bank employing international standards in Asia at L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in Hyderabad in 1989, and it has become a major global resource center and Center of Excellence in eye banking. LVPEI’s Ramayamma International Eye Bank is now one of the world’s biggest eye banks, and LVPEI performs the highest number of corneal transplants of any center in the world. The Ramayamma International Eye Bank is also a major international training center for eye banking personnel and research.
Dr. Rao, who served on the Medical Advisory Board of the Eye Bank Association of America, played a major role in the creation of the Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI), of which he is also the former president. Through its activities, EBAI stimulated the development of a world-class eye banking network in India and supported the development of many Asian eye banks.
Corneal transplantation, using healthy corneas donated by individuals at death, is the only way to rehabilitate the majority of those with corneal blindness. Because India has the world’s largest corneal blindness burden, a high-quality eye banking system is very important to restore vision to as many as possible so they can lead optimally productive lives.
About LVPEI’s Ramayamma International Eye Bank
LVPEI’s Ramayamma International Eye Bank (RIEB) is the largest provider of sight restoring corneas in India and a SightLife Center of Excellence in Eye Banking. Since its establishment in 1989, RIEB has greatly increased the collection of transplantable donor corneas and elevated eye banking performance standards in India, Asia and the developing world. As a leader in eye banking across Asia, RIEB has contributed significantly to the effective networking and proliferation of eye banks through promotion of community eye banking programs. REIB has harvested over 35,000 donor corneas, and transplanted over 17,000 of them to needy patients. RIEB also offers training to eye bank personnel.
About L V Prasad Eye Institute
The L V Prasad Eye Institute provides high-quality comprehensive eye care to all people; provides sight enhancement and rehabilitation services at the Institute and through its rural eye health network; offers professional ophthalmic training at all levels; and conducts cutting-edge eye care research. The Institute is a World Health Organization (WHO) Center for the Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Center for VISION 2020, a worldwide initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness led by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.