Background: Eyes are sensitive, and highly specialized sense organs which are exposed to several disorders, many of which lead to impaired vision. The aim of this study was to assess the level of awareness and determine the level of willingness to donate eyes among the medical and paramedical students in Saudi Arabia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 350 paramedical and medical students from all six levels of study. The sampling method was convenience sampling. Data collection was done through online questionnaires which included demographic data, knowledge of eye donation, and willingness to donate.
The analysis on awareness of eye transplant among paramedical and medical students revealed that students who were aware of eye transplant were 35%, p=0.065, 95% CI [25.5%, 35.45]. The proportion of those who were aware that Saudi Arabia has an eye bank was less than 7%, p=.000, 95% CI [.4%,3.3%]. Willingness to donate eye(s) and awareness of eye donation were independent χ(1)=.213, p=.644.
The study findings indicate that organ donation and particularly eye donation is still low in Saudi Arabia.There is an acute need to increase awareness among the public.
Key words: eyes, donation, Ophthalmology, Saudi Arabia