VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur (PIA) – The provincial government, through the Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital-Gabriela Silang (ISPH-GS), is expected to help strengthen the Eye Bank's hospital retrieval program and volunteer donation through a memorandum of agreement signed on March 9.
With this, the provincial government said trained personnel will be allowed to retrieve eyes or corneas in ISPH-GS where a specific area of collection will be installed with the consent from patients or their next of kin.
“Ise-set up natin ang ISPH-GS. May kapasidad na ang ating institusyon para doon gawin iyong retrieval program so lahat ng pwedeng ma-harvest, pwede na gawin sa ISPH-GS,” said Dr. Ma. Dominga 'Minguita' Padilla, Eye Bank founder and incumbent ambassador-at-large.
“Napakahalaga ng partnership na ito, ito ang unang hakbang para matulungan ang mas maraming tao lalong-lao na rito sa Ilocos Sur para sila’y makakita muli those who need corneal transplants – bata, matanda, babae o lalaki, mayaman o mahirap. Walang pinipili ang sakit ng cornea, it can happen to anyone. Maraming salamat sa provincial government. We welcome you to the Eye Bank family. We are here for you,” she added.
It can be remembered that the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines conducted a courtesy call in November 2022 and introduced its goals to increase the number of eye and corneal donations in the country through public education, advocacy campaigns, and cooperation with various individuals, groups and government institutions.
Governor Jeremias Singson expressed his joy in a message as he continues to fulfill the goals of the ONE Ilocos Sur 10-point agenda for a healthy, safe, and diverse citizenry.
“This forging of partnership between Eye Bank and the provincial government gives a light to this goal of administration. I express my sincerest appreciation to Dr. Padilla and the whole Eye Bank Foundation for opening this philanthropic endeavor to the province of Ilocos Sur. As we forge this partnership, the provincial government affirms its commitment to provide accessible and responsive public healthcare to our people,” Governor Singson said.
He then encouraged Ilocos Surians to be a part of this philanthropic cause and help address the high number of corneally-blind patients in the country.
“I encourage everyone if you have a chance or if you know someone who can donate their cornea to work with us and let us all be part of a selfless breakthrough of making someone’s dream come true. Let your eyes be a light in someone’s life. Let us all commit to this vision as ONE Eye Bank, ONE Ilocos Sur,” he added.
For those who want to or know someone who want to sign a donor card and pledge their eyes or corneas after death, you may reach the IPSH-GS via 0975 977 3996 or visit the official website of the Eye Bank Foundation and fill up the Eye Donor Form at https://eyebankphil.org/e-pledge/.
Below is a screenshot of the Eye Donor Form which you can fill-up.
A Donor Form Code then will be sent to your e-mail address giving you access to print your temporary donor card and keep it with you at all times.
“Have the donor card signed by your indicated witnesses, and most importantly, discuss your decision with your family,” the Eye Bank Foundation emphasized. (JCR/AMB/JMCQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)