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Man who turned blind after taking kala azar medicine regain vision after surgery

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In April 2024, that is last month, Suno India published the story featuring Iliyas Marandi, a 23-year-old tribal man who lost his eyesight after taking miltefosine drug for Post-Kala-azar Dermal Leishmaniasis, a skin manifestation of the deadly Kala-azar. This May, he underwent a corneal implant surgery at Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences. Suno India’s Menaka Rao spoke to Iliyas after the surgery, and his doctor, Dr Rakhi Kusumesh. This is Iliyas’s second corneal implant. 

In 2022, the World Health Organization stated that 83 cases in India had possible links to miltefosine intake. While the government issued guidelines in 2022 to prevent people from losing vision after taking miltefosine, there are no plans yet for those who lost eyesight before 2022. Iliyas is one such person. He has so far mostly sought medical help with his own money, and resources. Except for some Ayushman Bharat scheme’s insurance money, Iliyas was on his own for this corneal implant too.

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