Lahore - The Pakistan Inclusive Eye Health (PIEH) Project has been initiated in district Khanewal in order to ensure eye health for all.
The initiative was taken by Sightsavers in collaboration with the College of Ophthalmology & Allied Vision Sciences (COAVS), Mayo Hospital Lahore, and District Health Authority Khanewal. Purpose of the move is to ensure that quality eye care services become accessible to all special persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups.
A launch ceremony in this regard was held in district Khanewal where Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Mehar, Director General Health Services, South Punjab was the chief guest. Professor Dr. Muhammad Moin, Principal College of Ophthalmology & Allied Vision Sciences Lahore, Professor Dr. Rashid Qamar Rao, Principal Nishter Medical College Multan, Dr. Abdul Majeed Bhatti, Chief Executive Officer, District Health Authority Khanewal, Itfaq Khaliq Khan, Senior Program Manager, Sightsavers and representatives from health department, Social Welfare Department, CHIP, LRBT, Civil Society Organizations, Person with disabilities and local media also attended the event.
Under this initiative, optometry clinics have been established at 09 Rural Health Centres (RHC) and 03 Tehsil Headquarter (THQs) hospitals of district Khanewal to establish and strengthen eye care services particularly refractive error and optical services.
During the past two months, the project has successfully conducted eye screening of 21,503 patients, and addressed 11, 947 refractive error cases as well as 9,798 people are advised of the use of spectacles. Besides this, 177 cataract surgeries have been supported under the project.
On the occasion, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Mehar, Director General Health Services South Punjab, said that the PIEH Project is addressing one of the most required needs of eye care at the primary level. He assured his continuous support to the project in achieving its intended outcomes.
Itfaq Khaliq Khan, Senior Program Manager Sightsavers, explained that this five-year PIEH project will reach out to one million people with eye health screening services at the primary health care level while providing above 200,000 people with refractive error and optical services.
On the occasion, Professor Dr. Muhammad Moin, Principal College of Ophthalmology & Allied Vision Sciences (COAVS) Lahore, reiterated that provision of eye care services at primary level not only benefit the general community in timely and accurate diagnosis of eye-related issues, but it also reduces the unnecessary burden on secondary level hospitals catering eye care needs of over 60% of the rural population.