EBAANZ Member Eye Banks contribute to a continual quality improvement cycle and are audited by their nation’s regulatory bodies.
EBAANZ has developed Australian and New Zealand standards to ensure consistently high levels of quality, proficiency and ethics when dealing with tissue for ocular transplantation. They define the standards of practice in the donation, retrieval, testing, preservation, and distribution of tissue – as determined by the ophthalmological medical community in Australia and New Zealand. These Standards encompass and reflect current world’s best-practice in the management of tissue for ocular application and are in line with the regulatory bodies of each nation and support of the World Health Organization’s Universal Eye Health Action Plan.
EBAANZ aims to foster education and training in the donation of tissue for ocular application and eye bank services, and provides opportunities for continuing professional development and education of the Staff of Member Eye Banks.
EBAANZ also supports and encourages ethical collaboration, research and development into eye banking, eye disorders and potential treatments and works collaboratively with the global eye banking community.
ADVOCACY AND GLOBAL ETHICS
EBAANZ provides informed comment, and advocates, on behalf of its members, donors and donor families, transplant recipients and global health-colleagues. This includes:
- representation to government and regulatory agencies;
- interaction with and representation to other donation and transplantation organisations;
- improving public awareness of eye donation and corneal transplantation;
- Practicing in accordance with the EBAANZ Bioethic Framework ;
- providing representation, globally, through membership with the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations – as a founding partner.
EBAANZ has in place a service agreement between all member eye banks to provide the terms upon which tissue for ocular application are distributed between eye banks across the nations of Australia and New Zealand.
A bioethical framework has also been implemented by EBAANZ to guide and direct member eye banks with requests for international capacity development and humanitarian support – regarding the provision of tissue and resources.
Routinely, tissue used in eye transplantations are allocated and distributed within the State of donation, however urgent cases take priority – where by the tissue may be transferred interstate by specific arrangement between eye banks, or between an eye bank and a particular ophthalmologist.
The individual allocation of the tissue to a recipient is dependent on whether the case is:
- Urgent – where there is actual or threatened corneal perforation; or
- Routine – where elective (scheduled) surgery is planned to suit the medical need and convenience of the patient and surgeon.
Factors such as the availability of the surgeon and operating facilities, and the condition of the patient will determine actual operating dates. Within this framework, some priority is normally given to patients who have been waiting the longest.
- interaction and sharing of information between EBAANZ member eye banks, and with peer international Eye Bank Associations via their partnership with the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations;
- sharing of knowledge; and
- involvement in local, national and global practice-improvement initiatives and projects.