Over 2 Million People at Risk of Blindness in Pakistan

Eye related problems, around the globe, have been estimated to triple in the next three decades with developing nations taking a major hit. Therefore, efforts are needed to prevent the looming crisis particularly in Pakistan where nearly 2 million people are at risk of going blind.

According to WHO, 2.2 billion people around the world live with vision impairment or blindness in which one billion people have conditions that could have been prevented.

President Al-Shifa Trust General (r) Rehmat Khan said that almost two million people were prone to eye-related diseases in Pakistan while eighty percent of them could be cured with timely intervention.

Briefing media on World Sight Day, a global event meant to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment, he said that one of the major obstacles in providing eye care to the needy is lack of the required facilities.

Responding to questions, he said that we have taken a new initiative for getting eye donations from the US and Canada. “Presently, around 60 operations for eye transplant are being conducted per month and we plan to enhance the number of transplants to 100 in the next six months” he maintained.

An eye transplant costs about Rs. 120,000 but such operations are categorized into three groups. We try to conduct 20 eye transplants free of cost, while the next 20 are subsidized and 20 donations are provided to those who people can bear the expense, he added.

He further said that Al-Shifa also plans to set up small eye treatment units in remote areas to provide state of the art eye treatment facilities.

It is easy to cure eye diseases in childhood rather than waiting as that results in complications, he said.

  • Infections, malnutrition and lack of eye care give rise to high proportion of blindness.

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