Facts & Figures about Corneal Blindness

Facts & Figures About Corneal Blindness

  • Blindness from corneal disease is a major ophthalmic public health problem in India. Currently, there are estimated to be 1.2 million corneal blind persons in India, to which 25,000-30.000 people with corneal blindness are added every year.
  • As against an annual requirement of 75,000 to 1,00,000 corneas, approximately 35,000 corneas are donated in India at present.
  • Since 1961, more than 1,800,000 men, women and children worldwide have had their sight restored through corneal transplantation.
  • There are 10 million (100 lakh) cornea-blind individuals worldwide.
  • Over 97% of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient's vision.
  • Receiving a cornea transplant does NOT change the color of a recipient's eye! The cornea is a clear, separate layer - not to be confused with the colored iris.
  • In 2012, 184,576 corneal transplants were performed in 116 countries. These were procured from 283,530 corneas and stored in 742 eye banks across the world.
  • About 53% of the world's population had no access to corneal transplantation.
  • According to the WHO, 4% of the world's 39 million blind people suffer from corneal opacity (the scarring or clouding over of the cornea) while another 3% suffer from trachoma, a bacterial infection that results in damage to the cornea.
  • Blindness from corneal opacity is a significant public health burden that is estimated to affect 1.5 million (15 lakh)people and accounts for about 4% of cases of blindness worldwide.
  • Corneal transplantation is the only viable option for visual rehabilitation of those made blind from corneal diseases.
  • Based on the present availability of safe donor eyes and utilization rates, it is estimated that 270,000 donor eyes are required to perform 100,000 corneal transplants per year in India, an approximately 4-fold increase from the present availability of donor eyes. The wide disparity in demand and supply of donor human eyes in India poses a challenge to public health specialists in particular and the health system, in general.

Supporting Organizations

  • Tony Robbins Foundation, USA
  • Guru Ka Langar Eye Hospital, Sector - 18B, Chandigarh
  • Tricity Eye Hospital, SAS Nagar, Mohali
  • Dr. Shakeen’s Eye & Dental Hospital, Court Road, Amritsar
  • Hyderabad Eye Institute, L.V. Prasad Marg, Hyderabad
  • Eye Bank Society of Rajasthan, Jaipur
  • Madhav Netra Bank (Regd.), Karnal, Haryana


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