Unseen blind side of Lanka


Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that around 150,000 people in Sri Lanka were totally blind and approximately 400,000 people were suffering from various eye diseases.

Minister Sirisena said the Kandy Teaching Hospital had set an example by performing about 10,000 eye operations including cataract surgery annually. On the instruction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa the Sri Lanka Eye Bank had been established to prevent corneal blindness among the people, the minister said.

The government had made available eye donation registration, obtaining corneal tissues, corneal transplants for the patients. A branch of the Eye Bank had been located in the Colombo Eye Hospital with the assistance of the Singapore government. Many patients who were terminally ill had given their consent to donate their eyes after death, the minister said.

Minister Sirisena said that the government had provided adequate human and physical resources to eye care health services countrywide.

With the help of the Singapore government the eye care services had been streamlined to treat more patients, Minister Sirisena said.

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