Recent studies in Pakistan have found that there is an inextricable link between blindness and poverty: the prevalence of total blindness in poor areas was more than three times of that in affluent areas. Studies have also found that four million children in the country have a vision impairment.
Sightsavers aims to ensure everyone can be treated for eye issues. We’ve trained more than 85,000 Lady Health Workers to provide health care in the community for conditions including refractive error and cataracts. We’ve also trained more than 40,000 teachers to screen children in schools.
In collaboration with provincial partners, we’ve established seven paediatric ophthalmology centres, and trained thousands of opthalmologists and surgeons.
Watch the video below to find out more about our eye health work in Pakistan.
We also partner with local and national organisations to improve the rights of people with disabilities in the country and make sure they are not excluded from society, work or education.
Over 20 years Sightsavers has run numerous projects on inclusive education, including training teachers on how to include children with disabilities in the classroom, establishing the first-ever model inclusive technology lab at school and university level and equipping government institutions with accessible IT software and braille books for students with visual impairments.
In 2016, Pakistan became the first country in the world to localise the Sustainable Development Goals, see how the implementation work is progressing [pdf] and how Pakistan’s eye health services are incorporating disability inclusion [pdf].
In January 2020, Pakistan signed its first ever law which protects the rights of people with disabilities.