The Foundation is working to ensure debilitating eye conditions are detected and treated early so children are not disadvantaged during their school years due to poor vision.
  • 80,000 children eye screened for debilitating eye conditions
  • Great results in 2011 despite difficult security situation and unstable environment

80,000 children eye screened in Pakistan

Over 80,000 school children have been screened for common eye conditions like short- and long-sightedness and blurred vision in Pakistan. Often, the problem can be solved with a simple pair of spectacles, but without this help, these children miss life opportunities many take for granted.

"This program is reaching children while they are still young and these interventions are most successful," says The Fred Hollows Foundation's Pakistan Program Co-ordinator, Rashin Choudhry.

Now in the second year of a two-year trial, this progam will see thousands more primary schools students being screened for refractive error and other common eye conditions in the districts of Peshawar in the north and Nowshero-Feroz and Turbat in the south.

The school screening program is part of broader efforts by The Foundation to improve paediatric eye care services across Pakistan in partnership with the Australian people through AusAID.

Key achievements

Our work in Pakistan is a story of continued success. Since beginning work there in 1998, the rate of blindness has halved from 1.8% to 0.9%. The Foundation has provided assistance to almost two million people, allowing them to return to their lives with restored vision and a much higher quality of life.

In 2011, despite security concerns and an unstable environment, The Foundation:
  • Performed 24,253 cataract operations and 18,412 other sight saving or improving interventions
  • Trained four surgeons and 24 nurses and clinic support staff
  • Screened 303,869 people
  • Constructed four eye units across the country, where thousands of childhood blindness and diabetic retinopathy sufferers can now get treatment
  • Tested over 80,000 school children for debilitating eye conditions
  • Offered the first vitro-retinal and paediatric ophthalmology fellowships at the College of Ophthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences in Lahore
  • Donated 1,600 intraocular lenses for cataract surgeries on the poor in 16 remote districts
  • Heavy focus on tackling widespread problem of childhood blindness (120,000 children are blind or severely visually impaired and another 180,000 have low vision) and diabetic retinopathy – through AusAID’s Pakistan-Australia Subspecialty Eye Care Project.
> Find out more about our work in Pakistan.

For more information on childhood blindness, click here