Health Secretary writes to DGP for facilitating Eye-Cornea transplants in Medico-legal cases

Chandigarh, January 4, 2016: In response to a DO Letter issued by Ms.Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare Punjab in November 2015 to the Director General of Police Punjab, regarding importance of timely eye donations in Medico Legal cases, Mr.Suresh Arora DGP has issued a circular to all SSPs/Commissioners of Police to facilitate early eye donations in Medico-legal cases including the accidental cases and promptly coordinate with eye banks and forensic experts.
          In the circular it is mentioned that, Under Human Organs and Tissue Transplantation Act. 1994, there is a provision to procure cornea of dead persons in Medico Legal cases, provided cornea is not required for post-mortem reports and if the dead person has desired before death that after his death his organs are not to be donated for transplantation. It has also been mentioned that in such cases consent of relatives should be taken and the process to procure eye balls must be completed within 6 hours after death.
          Ms. Vini Mahajan said that  Department of Health & Family Welfare Punjab is in the process to declare the state as "Corneal Blindness Backlog Free State" within this year. There is a plan to get operated all the bilateral corneal blind patients within the month of January 2016.  Efforts are under way to stick to the time line by coordinating with all Govt. and Private Keratoplasty Centers. She added that already driving license applicants are pledging their eyes at the time of applying for driving license with efforts of State Transport Commissioner Punjab.
          Funds will be provided to private Keratoplasty Centers as per norms under NPCB for corneal transplant surgeries. It is pertinent to mentioned that Rotary Club and Eye Bank Association Hoshiarpur and many other NGOs in other districts are helping in creating awareness about this important public health issue.
Monday, January 4, 2016