KARACHI: President Arif Alvi on Thursday stressed the need for a strong culture of voluntary blood donation in the country with equal attention towards cadaveric organ donation.

Talking to the media during his visit to the LRBT Tertiary Teaching Hospital in Korangi, he said organ donation, be it cornea, kidney or liver, was a charity in itself.

“It saves lives,” he emphasised reiterating that the relevance of blood donation also could not be ignored which ironically was rarely given due importance in society.

“We generally come forward only in a crisis situation while its importance cannot be overlooked at any cost.

“It is definitely no mean feat that the LRBT through its chain of centres, scattered across the country, is catering [to] a major chunk of the patients in need of eye care,” he said.

President Alvi said that such facilities and the people associated with them were role models, who must be duly projected so as to be a source of inspiration for society in general.

“It is heartening to see that these people, pertaining to different age groups are provided free of cost services and assistance,” President Alvi said referring to surgeries, treatment for eye-related injuries and other crucial support in terms of lens implantation, glasses etc.

The president also reiterated the need to raise public awareness about prevention of eye conditions and diseases that might also cause visual impairment.

Earlier, he along with First Lady Samina Alvi took a round of the hospital and was briefed about its working coupled with efforts to further expand its satellite centres in remote and less-privileged areas of the country.

He appreciated the technology and specialised equipment available for the treatment of poor patients.

Najmus Saqib Hameed, Prof Fawad Rizvi and Umer Ghafoor briefed him about the working of the trust. Member of the National Assembly Aftab Siddiqui and Member of the Sindh Assembly Shehzad Qureshi were also present.

President Alvi was informed that the LRBT had been operational since 1985 with the mission that “No man, woman or child should go blind”.

With the very objective it was said to run a network of 77 facilities countrywide, comprising 19 hospitals and 58 eye centres.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2020