eye donation


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The treatment of choice for end-stage organ failure is organ transplantation. (1) It improves the quality of life and also has better long-term survival benefits. corneal transplantation is the major option for restoration of vision in corneal blindness [2] Blindness is the condition of loss of vision. After Cataract, damage to corneal layer is the second most common cause of blindness and accounts for about 6-8 million cases out of the 45 million cases of blindness in the world [3]. The World Health Organization estimated that 285 million people have visual impairment worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 have low vision [4]. Main causes of corneal blindness are corneal scaring like trachoma, corneal ulceration due to vitamin-A deficiency, use of harmful traditional eye medicines, neonatorum ophthalmia, ocular trauma, onchocerciasis & leprosy, etc. [5] According to Saudi center for organ transplantation, cornea is the most requested organ for donation and the least organ had been donated in the last two years [6]. Despite efforts to educate the community about organ donation and transplantation, the number of people on the waiting list continues to grow, while the number of donors and transplants grows slowly [7-8]. and insufficient organ donation in Saudi Arabia remains a limiting factor for transplantation. King Khalid Eye Specialized Hospital (KKESH) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is a tertiary eye center, where nearly 765 cornea transplantation surgeries are performed During the year of 1436H. [9] One of the barrier in eye donation is lack of awareness and a negative attitude among general population. Studying the psychological aspects of organ donation showed that several knowledge and religious beliefs play an important role in influencing decision to donate their organs after death. [10] In 2014, Sudesh K Arya reported that (81.3%) of medical students were well aware of corneal donation from deceased donors and only 251(65.4%) consented for pledge of their eyes. [11] A study among medical students and environmental science students done in 2014 conducted by Boniface Ikenna Eze, found that there were no significant intergroup differences regarding awareness of eye donation and willingness to donate their own or their relatives ‘ eyes. Significantly more medical students than environmental science students knew that donation consent is given by the donor while alive and had good knowledge of donor eye preservation. [12] A study done in 2009 by Gupta found the majority (96.8%) of nursing students knew that eyes can be donated after death but only (38.2%) knew that the ideal time of donation was within 6 hours of death. Most participants (85.1 %) were either willing or were agreed to be donor. [13] In 2015 A study conducted by Rajkumar Patil found that education and occupation were found to be the predictors for awareness about eye donation. The employed persons had significantly more awareness about the correct timing to donate eyes. [14] In 2014 study conducted by Ackuaku-Dogbe EM reported that Age group 60 and above and education at the professional and tertiary levels were possible predictors of awareness of eye donation whilst education was the only predictor of willingness to donate an eye. The main source of awareness of eye donation was through healthcare personals and the media (46.70 %). [15] All these studies conducted to assess awareness of eye donation among population. There are many studies regarding awareness of eye donation among students, general population and patients in India, Singapore and Malaysia, but until know there are no studies among general population in Saudi Arabia.


End-stage organ failure is one of the contemporary health challenges facing the world. With no cure, novel treatment options have been tried, the best being transplantation. Transplantation is preferred because of associated benefits like improved quality of life and possibleof long-term survival. Corneal transplantation is a preferred method of choice for treatment of corneal blindness, a condition that leads to total vision loss.  Corneal blindness, which results from corneal damage, ranks second after cataract in the cause of blindness. The importance of corneal transplantation is further underpinned by statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), which show that about 39 million people suffer from blindness, while another 285 million suffer from low vision.  Statistics further shows that out of the reported 45 million cases of total blindness, corneal blindness comprises 6-8 million. Corneal blindness is caused by different factors including trachoma, ulceration of the corneal as a result of vitamin-A deficiency, using traditional eye medicine, neonatorumophthalmia, and many others.