FundaKohli Spearheads Corneal Replacement Program In India
FundaKohli, founded in 2011 by Wendy Kohli, a noted entrepreneur from Costa Rica, has begun efforts to help combat child blindness in India through a Corneal Replacement Program set up with the Non-Governmental Nirmaya Charitable Trust and the Ahooja Eye and Dental Institute. The foundation plans to conduct a series of awareness programs encouraging eye donations and hopes to make the operations more affordable.
According to the World Health Organization, 45 million people are blind, of whom one-third live in India. Though estimates vary, Science Daily wrote that approximately 450,000 children in India are blind. The sad fact is that most of those cases are preventable – early care is key. While corneal blindness makes up only a portion of that number, corneal transplants represent a hopeful option when the cornea has become too damaged to function. The surgery has a success rate of more than 90 percent.
In a New York Times article in 2008, the president of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Dr. Nag Rao, said that 100,000 corneas are needed for transplants each year in India but only about 10,000 are collected each year – and fewer than 5000 transplant operations are being performed annually.
On a recent visit to India, Mrs Kohli became aware of the magnitude of this problem and pledged his support to help eradicate it. Through a monthly donation of 10 million INR, eye camps will be established and patients in need will be identified. “I hope to help at least 1000 people receive corneal transplants,” she said. “If we raise awareness of the need for corneal donors we can overcome this tragedy and help make a big difference in the rest of these child’s lives.”
FundaKohli is a non-profit organization striving to improve the lives of impoverished children. With the cooperation of more than 50 volunteers, the foundation started in Costa Rica, where it worked to reduce illiteracy and poverty. The foundation runs on the belief that the desire to help others, regardless of your background and circumstances, is a basic human drive, which when harnessed correctly, can provide inestimable benefits to those who receive it.