Pellet blinded await shifting to specialized centers outside

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Srinagar: Even as Kashmir lacks specialized facilities to treat the wounded who recently lost eyesight to pellet gunfire, the state government has been allegedly sleeping over the shifting of the grievously-wounded patients to specialized facilities outside state.

The doctors said Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura and the Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar associated hospitals, which have been bearing the brunt of causalities in the past fortnight of street protests lack facilities for corneal (eye) transplant, something badly need to treat the pellet-blinded victims. 

Highly placed sources said the Health ministry has even not formally asked the hospitals treating the wounded if any of them needs to be shifted to outside state for treatment.

Officials said, as per the protocol, the Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education Department was supposed formally communicate with the concerned hospitals if the any of the patients needed to be shifted outside state.

A senior doctor at the SMHS Hospital said they have not received any such formal intimation.

Official sources said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at recent meeting asked the Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education department if any of the wounded needed to be shifted outside state.

The concerned, as per the sources said, it would take another fortnight to take any decision on the issue.

While over a 100 patients, mostly youth and kids have lost eyesight to pellet firing by security forces, doctors are apprehensive of their regaining vision. One of them is Insha from Shopian, a 14 year old schoolgirl, whose face was maimed by pellets when she was inside her home. Doctors say she has lost vision in both her eyes.

The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has expressed serious concern over non-availability of corneal (eye) transplantation facility in hospitals in Kashmir.

President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said, “While eye transplants have transferred the lives of blind, but in JK they continue to suffer.”

He said “Hundreds of people in recent civil unrest have been blinded and some of them might need transplants to restore their vision.”

Dr Nisar, who is also a noted medico said: “Ocular trauma is one of the major causes of corneal blindness and the only viable option for them is corneal transplantation.”

The doctors body observed that “JK hospitals lack equipments, infrastructure and trained staff for eye transplantation.”

The DAK said: “Corneal transplantation is a simple outpatient procedure where damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by corneal tissue of a deceased.”

“The prognosis for visual restoration with transplant is excellent and studies have revealed success rate of 95% to 99%,” Dr Nisar said.

 

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