Islamabad: Standard Chartered Pakistan announced the successful completion of Pakistan Urban Paediatric (PUP) Eye Care Programme in Pakistan. As per commitment the Bank along with its partner Sightsavers International has screened 1.5 million children for refractive errors in five major cities across the country.
This screening project was implemented within the framework of the National Eye Health Plan of Pakistan, in the cities of Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi.
The overall aim of this project was to identify blind and low vision children and to provide the required eye health services (surgeries, spectacles, low vision devices) to children during school eye health activities. This project has lead to an increase in eye health awareness in schools and adjacent communities.
Commenting on this occasion, Mr. Shazad Dada said, “Early eye screenings are critical for the health and wellbeing of children and this programme has ensured that 1.5 million children understand it’s importance. Undoubtedly, more can be done to eliminate avoidable blindness in the country and on the back of the success of this program we are pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive eye health care program for which we will invest USD 1million and reach out to over 1.7million people.”
Recently, the Bank announced that it will launch another project that will focus on improving eye health services in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This project will be worth USD1 million and will be implemented in partnership with the Pakistan government, Sightsavers International and Fred Hollows Foundation.
The Global CEO of Sightsavers International, Caroline Harper commented on the occasion and said, “To combat childhood blindness, Sightsavers believe in system strengthening of the existing service providers in Pakistan and at the same time invest for the innovative approaches that are affordable and cost effective as per local context of the country.”
The Bank has led various Seeing is Believing initiatives in the country for over 9 years, touching close to 11.5million lives in this endeavour. Additionally, various projects, related to Seeing is Believing have ranged from: training over 60,000 lady health care workers, to distributing over 100,000 pairs of eye glasses and to screening 1.5million children’s eye sights across the country.
Seeing is Believing in Pakistan demonstrates our commitment to work with partners in the public and private sector towards the New Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by world Leaders at the United Nations in September 2015. By investing in projects that focus on comprehensive Eye Health Seeing is Believing supports global goal number 3 – ensure healthy live and promote well being for all at all ages.
· Trained more than 26,000 school teachers
· Screenied 1.5 million children for Refractive Errors.
· 70,000 Refractions by qualified Optometrists
· Distributed 56,663 Spectacles to children free of charge.
· Restored the eye sight of 2,426 people.
· Distributed 500 low vision devices.
· Conducted 647 community based awareness raising sessions on Eye Health.