Showcasing their donor cards from left: Ellen Lagan, Eye Bank Manager, Sherman Valero, MD, MakatiMed Chairman Department of Ophthalmology, Ma. Dominga Padilla, MD, Eyebank President and CEO, and Saturnino Javier, MD, MakatiMed Medical Director.
Top hospital of the Philippines Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed) has renewed its partnership with humanitarian Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines (Eye Bank).
MakatiMed’s Department of Ophthalmology and the Eye Bank formalized the renewal of the partnership with the signing of a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on World Sight Day, October 14. The MOA was signed by MakatiMed representatives, Saturnino P. Javier MD, Medical Director; Sherman O. Valero MD, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology; and Eye Bank representatives, Ma. Dominga B. Padilla MD, President and CEO and Ellen S. Lagan, Manager.
The signing was broadcasted live to the MakatiMed and Eye Bank communities, and was virtually attended by Atty. Pilar Nenuca P. Almira, MakatiMed President and CEO and Reynaldo E. Santos MD, President of Philippine Cornea Society. The event was concluded with a symbolic signing of an organ donation pledge card.
Corneal blindness is one of the common causes of visual loss throughout the world. Unfortunately, the lack of corneal tissue poses a hindrance in many patients requiring corneal transplant to improve their vision and quality of life. Through the agreement, trained personnel from the Eye Bank are allowed to retrieve eyes or corneas in MakatiMed with consent from patients or their next of kin. If two corneas are obtained from one donor, one cornea shall automatically be offered for use in transplant surgery for a patient of the hospital. The other cornea will go into the pool of the Eye Bank for distribution to another patient in the country in need of corneal transplant.
Both parties have also reiterated their commitment to the promotion of eye health, donation, and transplantation through patient education, counseling, and various public health endeavors.
The Eye Bank is the only state-of-the-art eye banking facility in the country that evaluates and distributes donated eye tissue and corneas for use in transplantation, research, and education. As part of its long-time partnership with the hospital, it regularly conducts cornea and eye donation awareness workshop-forum for the MakatiMed community to underline the importance of corneal donation and corneal transplantation positively impacts the lives of recipients and their loved ones.