Launching of new Eye Health Projects by National Committee for Eye Health in Collaboration with Global Trachoma Mapping (GTMP)/WHO, Sightsavers & Fred Hollows Foundation

November 10, 2015

 Islamabad 10th November, 2015:  Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar said that National Committee, provincial boards, College of Ophthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences Lahore, Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology Peshawar, CEC-Cells Sind, Baluchistan, GB & AJK are working with utmost dedication and devotion to improve eye health services in the country in line with VISION 2020 and Global Action Plan for Avoidable Blindness approved by World Health Assembly. This is indeed the right direction and the course for a country like Pakistan and is in line with the policy and priorities of our government.


Saira Afzal Tarar said, encouraging that National Committee for Eye Health of Ministry of National Health Services ,  after  surveying  39 districts , covering population of 40 million across Pakistan, has finally developed international Collaboration with Global Trachoma Mapping Project, WHO, Sightsavers, FHF and CBM for Trachoma survey in remaining priority districts of  Pakistan. Ministry of National Health Services is grateful to DFID and Sightsavers for supporting the survey. Under this survey poor people in remote areas of districts of Layyah, Sahiwal, Lodhran, Gujranwala in Punjab, Noshki in Baluchistan, Ghotki, Jamshoro in Sindh, Upper Dir and Nowshera in KPK, Ghizer and Ghanche in GB and Mirpur and  Kotli in AJK, will have the opportunity to save their generations from becoming blind due to Trachoma.


Minister assured that once the survey is completed and report is finalized, the Government of Pakistan will support the Trachoma Eradication Plan in all endemic areas.


She said the results of Pakistan Urban Eye Care Project supported by Sightsavers and Standard Chartered Bank. I wish to express appreciation for Caroline Harper, Chief Executive Officer Sightsavers UK and Shahzad Dada CEO Standard Chartered Bank  for supporting this project. I am impressed by the figures that after screening 1.5 Million children for various eye health problems in public and community based schools of Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi and Karachi , the project has provided students with services like refraction, surgeries and low vision devices, trained 26,000 school teachers to combat childhood blindness in the school aged population of Pakistan, supported 2500 major and minor surgeries of children and reached 45,000 people with awareness raising.


She further said, I am pleased to announce the Launch of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and  Fred Hollows Foundation Australia Supported Project “Integrated model of care for diabetic retinopathy within the health system of Pakistan commencing from January 2016  which is a three year project jointly funded by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and The Fred Hollows FoundationAustralia, to be implemented in Lahore and Hyderabad. This project will enable us to integrate Eye health services within diabetes management to offer comprehensive care for people at risk of vision loss due to diabetes.I am sure that based on the results of this project, the services will be scaled up in other parts of the country.


Minister reiterated the firm commitment of the Ministry of National Health Services to ensuring that all projects related to Prevention of Blindness are implemented efficiently and the issues of blindness become a priority in the National health Agenda.