Thursday September 20, 2018

Eye donations increase from 2009-13, but rise in unused Eyes too, says AIIMS data

According to Delhi-based opthalmologists, nearly 60 per cent of the eye donations go to waste in India

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  • According to Delhi-based opthalmologists, nearly 60 per cent of the eye donations go to waste in India
  • The removed eyes should be implanted in the next 24 hours, or stored at an eye bank, where it could be preserved for up to 14 days only
  • Visually impaired surely can donate their corneas if they are not corneal blind 

New Delhi, October 14, 2016: Even as the number of eye donations has increased from 680 in 2009 to 1,321 in 2013, the proportion of unused eyes has also increased from 185 to 400 in the same period, data from AIIMS showed.

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More than 2.5 lakh blind people in India could regain eyesight if majority of the Indian hospitals start conducting eye transplants, showed statistics recently released by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

According to Delhi-based opthalmologists, nearly 60 per cent of the eye donations go to waste in India.

“Usually when the eyes are donated they either get infected with diseases, or are not stored in the eye banks on time. The biggest problem is that the window lapses as eyes from a dead person have to be retrieved within six hours after death,” said Amit Singhal, opthalmologist consultant at city based Sharp Sight Group of Eye Hospitals.

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According to him, the removed eyes should be implanted in the next 24 hours, or stored at an eye bank, where it could be preserved for up to 14 days only. Many harvested eyes are rendered useless as they are declared unfit for transplant.

Data from the Health Ministry has revealed that 51,354 eyes were donated in 2013-14, of which only 22,384 were used for transplant. The numbers have remained dismal over the past few years, with more than 50 per cent of the donated eyes going to waste.

“There is a need for young people to be encouraged to donate their eyes, as older people mostly have some or the other health ailments due to which their eyes are not fit to be transplanted. Every donated eye is checked for various diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) before implantation,” said Singhal, adding that despite all these arrangements, it is difficult to use all the donated eyes as eyes of old people in the age group of 70-80 are of least use due to blurred cornea.

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Stating that visually impaired people can also donate their eyes if they are not corneal blind, a leading Delhi-based opthalmologist Samir Sud said: “In our country we need to encourage visually impaired people to come forward for eye donations and dispel a common myth that a blind person cannot donate his eyes.”

“Visually impaired surely can donate their corneas if they are not corneal blind because in India we have an estimated 4.6 million people with corneal blindness that is curable through corneal transplantation made possible by eye donation,” Sud added.

Experts also said that though there’s no dearth of people willing to donate their eyes in India, more transplants can’t be conducted due to a shortage of eye bank technicians and eye donation counsellors. (IANS)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google's new tool can help you make our planet healthy. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?