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Connecticut Eye Bank to Donate Gift of Sight to Ghana

New Britain [March 30 2006] - The Connecticut Eye Bank & Visual Research Foundation Inc. will present donated corneas to a Ghana ophthalmologist at 10 a.m. Monday, April 3 at the Eye Bank’s offices at New Britain General Hospital.

This is the first time the Connecticut Eye Bank has donated corneas to patients in Africa, according to Executive Director Allen Brown. The donation will be made through the Eye Bank’s affiliation with Tissue Banks International, Inc. of Baltimore, MD.

Ghana ophthalmologist James Clarke, MD, will accept the corneas and tour the Eye Bank, along with New Britain General Hospital President Laurence A. Tanner and Eye Bank Medical Director Alan Stern, MD, who has performed transplants of donated corneas at the hospital.

Clarke is Ghana coordinator for Unite For Sight, a non-profit organization that promotes eye care and health education in developing countries. He will visit Connecticut as part of a Unite for Sight International Health Conference. The Connecticut Eye Bank is a conference sponsor.

“The Connecticut Eye Bank has been at New Britain General Hospital for over 35 years,” Tanner says. “We’re proud of this longstanding relationship with an organization that has given the very precious gift of sight to thousands of people throughout Connecticut and the world.”

The non-profit Connecticut Eye Bank, sponsored by the Independent Order of Oddfellows and Rebekahs, works to procure human eye tissue for corneal transplantation; increase public awareness about eye banking and donation; and educate the public and healthcare professionals throughout Connecticut. The organization also participates in research programs to improve methods for sight restoration. The organization often distributes corneas to patients in Connecticut and other states and in Asia, Indonesia and the Middle East.

Contact: Nancy Martin 860-224-5900, x4366,
Allen Brown of the CT Eye Bank, 860-224-5550

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