ISLAMABAD: Sightsavers has decided to initiate the project of ‘School Eye Health Screening’ to ensure that there would be no dropouts from schools due to eyesight of students.
Organisation will provide free spectacles for the children with refractive error and also surgical treatment in partnership with the department of health. It will also provide ophthalmic screening equipment for the screening team.
In this regard, a Letter of Understanding (LoU) has been signed between the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan and Sightsavers in Islamabad.
According to a statement, Chief secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani said that the project will address one of the most pressing challenges of eye health of school going children and unavailability of proper screening facilities. He said that the project was materialising the government’s vision of making health facilities available for everyone at grassroots level.
Munazza Gillani, Country Director, Sightsavers said that her organisation was working to eradicate avoidable blindness and promote the rights of people with disabilities.
“This project will make a significant contribution to the effective scaling up of screening, refractive services and eyeglasses provision and will promote the integration of these approaches into government-led national programmes,” she said.
A speaker Ahmed Khan said that such initiatives will help ensure good eye health in students and solve the associated issues of school dropouts and compromised learning outcomes. He also added that lack of awareness and proper screening facilities lead to the sufferings of children facing issues of weak eyesight and common eye problems.
Sightsavers is an international development organisation working in 33 countries to eradicate avoidable blindness and promote the rights of people with disabilities. It is in Pakistan since 1985 and has helped government and other partner hospitals to examine more than 80 million eye care patients and has supported more than 700,000 cataract surgeries.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2023
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