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Pakistan

Sightsavers started working in Pakistan in 1985. Our work in the country focuses on treating eye conditions such as cataracts, which affect millions of people.

Eight year old Ayesha from Mohmand Agency,

Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world, yet almost 30 per cent of the population live in poverty.

Eye care facilities are often scarce, inaccessible and mainly based in urban areas, and many people are not aware of the importance of looking after their vision. As a result, eye conditions such as cataracts are common, but can be easily treated if people have access to eye care.

Sightsavers aims to strengthen the country’s health system to ensure everyone can be treated for eye issues. We train health workers and raise awareness of eye health within communities, focusing particularly on marginalised groups including, women, children and people with disabilities.

We’ve trained 930 Lady Health Workers to provide health care in the community: they visit families regularly to ensure that all children, even those who don’t attend school, have their eyes examined for conditions including refractive error and cataracts. We have trained 2,300 teachers to screen children in schools, following World Health Organization guidelines. We’ve also trained 70 technicians and medical staff, and upgraded the equipment at the LRBT hospital in Quetta.

Watch a video of our Pakistan Country Director explaining how Sightsavers is helping to achieve the United Nations’ Global Goals in Pakistan.

At a glance

Total population
  • 193 million

  • What we focus on
  • Cataracts
  • Refractive error

  • Key programmes
  • Cataract surgery
  • Disability rights
  • Global trachoma mapping

  • How we’re making a difference in Pakistan

    Zamurrad holds a hand up to her eye, while both her and her daughter smile at the camera.

    Cataract surgery

    Cataracts caused Zamurrad’s life to grind to a halt, leaving her fearful for the future. But a straightforward operation restored her sight.

    Read Zamurrad’s story

    Mahmoud pushes Naheed in her wheelchair outside their home.

    Disability rights

    In Pakistan, our Right to Health programme is transforming local eye health care to make sure people with disabilities aren’t excluded.

    More about the programme

    A street in an urban settlement with tents on either side of a wide dirt track.

    Reaching everyone

    Sightsavers’ Guillaume Trotignon visited Pakistan to see whether people living in urban slums in Lahore are able to get eye treatment.

    Read Guillaume’s blog

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    More from Pakistan

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    Naheed, Mahmoud and their grandchildren smiling.
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    Naheed’s story

    Naheed is one of the final patients to have surgery as a result of our Million Miracles campaign, which has raised enough to fund a million cataract operations in the countries where we work.

    Mahmoud pushes Naheed in her wheelchair outside their home.
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    In Pakistan, Ulrica Hansson learns how Sightsavers’ Right to Health programme is transforming local health care so people with disabilities are no longer excluded.

    A remote area in Benin featuring a long wooden bridge.
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    An update from Benin, where eye care staff have been travelling 3km on foot to treat ‘the disease at the end of the road’. Plus news from Nigeria, Pakistan and more.

    The attendees of the summit pose for a group photo, holding boards featuring the logos of Sightsavers, UK Aid and STEP.
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    Charter for disability inclusion is agreed at Pakistan summit

    The charter aims to make sure people with disabilities are included in the country’s social and economic development.

    A group of representatives from disabled people's organisations hold up signs saying 'Make it count'.
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    Sightsavers co-hosts consultation on disability inclusion in Pakistan

    The workshop aimed to make sure people with disabilities are included in global development plans, ahead of the first Global Disability Summit in July.

    A man examines a lady's eyes.
    Sightsavers from the field

    Ensuring women in north-west Pakistan receive the eye care they need

    An eye health project in north-west Pakistan has increased the number of women accessing cataract surgery in the region.

    A street in an urban slum in Lahore.
    Sightsavers blog

    Going where the need is greatest: eye care in Lahore, Pakistan

    It’s vitally important to investigate and address eye health disparities in urban areas, says Sightsavers' Guillaume Trotignon.

    Kauser has her eyes screened.
    Sightsavers Reports

    Kausar’s story

    Kausar had been losing her sight for years, and worried how her family would cope. But a Sightsavers-funded cataract operation turned her life around.

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    Where we work