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First eye bank planned to open in Korea this year.

NGO, a nonprofit organization, plans to set up the first eye bank in Korea sometime this year.

"In association with a university hospital, we will set up an eye bank this year," Lee Ji-sun, public relations manager at the Korean Organ Donor and Tissue Program (KODTP) told the Korean Times. "As there is no medical organization which is exclusively dealing with the matter, effective corneal transplantation has been difficult."

A total of 3,661 patients are on the Korean waiting list for a cornea, but only 117 donated corneas last year.

Public awareness campaigns have been having a impact on educating Koreans about the need for corneas. However, according to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, the Korean brain dead donor rate was just 1.4 per million in 2003 compared to 32.5 per million in Spain, 22.1 in the US, 17.8 in France and 10.9 in the UK.
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Title Annotation:Korean Organ Donor and Tissue Program
Publication:Transplant News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9NORT
Date:Feb 13, 2006
Words:155
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