Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology

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Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology 23 Districts Comprehensive Eye Care Program Khyberpakhtunkhwa and FATA, Pakistan.

 
This proposal fits with the aims and strategies of the recently launched WHO Vision 2020 global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020. Vision 2020 is an important global initiative, being actively promoted by UN agencies, governments, eye care organisations, health professionals and NGOs, and it recognises the crucial role of governments in blindness prevention activities.  The proposal shares the Vision 2020 strategy of training eye care personnel and establishing appropriate infrastructures and technologies to facilitate the prevention and cure of blindness.
Blindness imposes a huge social and economic cost on individuals, their families and on national governments and yet 80% of blindness is avoidable.  Both WHO and the World Bank note that cataract surgery is one of the most cost effective of all health interventions. This programme aims to work within the government structure to establish an accessible, affordable and sustainable comprehensive eye care programme to reduce the level of preventable and curable blindness in three districts of Khyberpakhtunkhwa and the seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.  The programme will be developed over four and a half years to ensure that capacity and sustainability are achieved.  By the final full year of the programme period (2003), nearly 9,000 sight-restoring cataract operations will be carried out annually.  From this we assess that, by the year 2005, the programme should have reached the Vision 2020 Cataract Surgical Rate target for Pakistan for that year, meaning that it will be well on the way to covering the incidence of new cataract blindness.   By the same year the programme should be conducting over 60,000 blindness – preventing non-surgical treatments annually.  It will then move on to address Vision 2020 cataract targets for subsequent years, and other major blinding conditions.
This programme is identified in the National Plan for the Prevention of Blindness (NPPB) as a forerunner to the development of similar programmes in other provinces.