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Open Access Research article

Awareness regarding eye donation among stakeholders in Srikakulam district in South India

Venkata Ramana Ronanki12, Sethu Sheeladevi12*, Brinda P Ramachandran3 and Isabelle Jalbert2

Author Affiliations

1 International Centre for Advancement of Rural Eye Care, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, India

2 University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

3 Ramayamma International Eye Bank, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India

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BMC Ophthalmology 2014, 14:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-14-25

Published: 6 March 2014

Abstract

Background

There is a huge need for the availability of transplantable donor corneas worldwide to reduce the burden of corneal blindness due to corneal opacity. Voluntary eye donation depends on the awareness levels of various stakeholders in the community. This study aimed to assess the awareness level regarding eye donation among various stakeholders in Srikakulam district in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.

Methods

355 subjects were selected from the district using multi stage random sampling. A pre tested semi structured questionnaire was used to collect information regarding each individual’s awareness, knowledge, and perception regarding eye donation. Each response was scored individually and a total score was calculated. Univariate and multivariate regression analysis was used to determine the factors associated with willingness towards eye donation and increased awareness levels.

Results

Of the 355 subjects interviewed, 192 (54%) were male and 163 (46%) were female. The mean age of the stakeholders was 35.9 years (SD ±16.1) and all the study subjects were literate. Ninety-three percent of subjects were aware of the concept of eye donation. Knowledge levels were similar among the teaching community and persons engaged in social service, but lower among students (p < 0.05). Among the stakeholders, there was considerable ambiguity regarding whether persons currently wearing spectacles or suffering from a chronic illnesses could donate their eyes. Older age group (p < 0.001), female gender (p < 0.001) and education (p < 0.001) were associated with increased knowledge levels. 82% of the subjects were willing to donate their eyes and this was unaffected by gender or geographical location (rural vs urban).

Conclusions

Awareness levels and willingness to donate eyes are high among the stakeholders in Srikakulam district in India. The services of stakeholders could be utilized, in conjunction with other community based eye donation counselors, to promote awareness regarding eye donation among the general population.

Keywords:
Eye donation; Corneal blindness; Community stakeholders; Willingness to donate