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Bengaluru: Minto Hospital turns 125, Minister of Health asks people to turn eye donation into movement

Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar on Tuesday urged more people to donate eyes, following in the footsteps of the late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar.

“Actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s gift of eye helped four people have a vision. The technology is so advanced that we can now give four people vision using the eyes of one person, ”he said on the sidelines of the 125th anniversary celebrations of Minto Eye Hospital in Bengaluru.

Health Minister K Sudhakar opens 125th anniversary celebrations at Minto Hospital (Express Photo)

Sudhakar added that around three to four crore people are suffering from blindness in the country. “We need to increase the number of people who come forward to donate their eyes. It is a blessing to be able to offer a vision to four people even after death, ”he said.

The health minister also highlighted Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s decision to pledge his organs. Sudhakar added that he himself pledged to donate his eyes last year. “We need to make eye donation a popular movement,” he said.

The hospital had started operations on November 9, 1896 as a dispensary named Bangalore Eye Hospital in a small building in Chickpet, after which it moved to a lodge in Lalbagh the following year. The hospital was moved to the current Chamarajpet building in 1913 after the construction of the administrative and hospital block during the reign of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, then Maharaja of Mysore.

A now 300-bed tertiary ophthalmic hospital, the hospital which started offering treatment with just nine patients is now visited by more than a lakh of patients from all over Karnataka and neighboring states, also with the largest unit in pediatric ophthalmology operating in the state.

Incidentally, the hospital was used as an isolation hospital first in 1898 during the plague epidemic and then from 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. The hospital had also actively treated patients diagnosed with mucormycosis (black fungus) during and after recovery from Covid.

“When the pandemic was at its peak, hospitals in Victoria and Minto (both affiliated with Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute) were reserved for Covid treatment. Now it has been reopened for regular treatment. People can now get the necessary treatments without any hesitation, ”Sudhakar said.

He added that around 500 to 800 people use the OPD (outpatient service) facilities on a daily basis and that around 10,000 surgeries are performed in the hospital each year.

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