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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 more than 85,000 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. As a result of the training, every year millions of women and children are getting access to primary eye care at their doorstep, and a referral chain has been set up to ensure they receive the treatment they need.

We also train teachers to screen children in schools.

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

    Your donation could help to protect sight

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    More from Pakistan

    Three women posing together with smiles.
    Sightsavers from the field

    How Sightsavers celebrated World Sight Day

    To mark World Sight Day 2019 on 10 October, Sightsavers country offices celebrated by highlighting the need to provide good-quality eye care to everyone.

    October 2019
    Teachers in Pakistan attend training to learn how to check their students' eyes.
    Sightsavers from the field

    August updates: highlights from around the world

    A round-up of the latest work that your donations help to support, including news from Nigeria, Mozambique, Pakistan and India.

    August 2019
    A photo of a large group of people, many of them using wheelchairs.
    Sightsavers blog

    How Pakistan is keeping disability inclusion on the SDG agenda

    Over two years, Sightsavers in Pakistan worked with strategic stakeholders and national partners to develop a voluntary national review report that focused on disability.

    Munazza Gillani, July 2019
    A child in Cote d'Ivoire has their eyes checked for signs of trachoma.
    Sightsavers from the field

    April updates: highlights from around the world

    A round-up of the latest work that your donations help to support, including news from Pakistan, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.

    April 2019
    Faiyyazan sits in a waiting room
    Sightsavers Reports

    How partnerships help us reach vulnerable communities

    In Pakistan, we work with disabled people’s organisations to ensure our new eye health programme is inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities.

    Two medical staff clean eyes of men in traditional african dress.
    Sightsavers from the field

    November updates: highlights from around the world

    News about a programme that has distributed more than 137,000 pairs of glasses across eight countries. Plus updates from Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Mozambique and more.

    November 2018
    A group of patients in Kenya smile and laugh following their cataract surgery.
    Sightsavers from the field

    October updates: highlights from around the world

    In October, celebrations took place in many of Sightsavers' programme countries to mark World Sight Day. Plus news from Kenya, Mozambique and more.

    October 2018
    Naheed, Mahmoud and their grandchildren smiling.
    Sightsavers Reports

    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.
    Sightsavers from the field

    Eye care for those who need it most

    In Pakistan, Ulrica Hansson learns how Sightsavers’ Right to Health programme is transforming local health care so people with disabilities are no longer excluded.

    September 2018
    A remote area in Benin featuring a long wooden bridge.
    Sightsavers from the field

    July highlights: updates from around the world

    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.

    July 2018
    The attendees of the summit pose for a group photo, holding boards featuring the logos of Sightsavers, UK Aid and STEP.
    sightsavers_news

    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.

    July 2018
    A group of representatives from disabled people's organisations hold up signs saying 'Make it count'.
    sightsavers_news

    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.

    June 2018

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    Where we work