Over 900,000 benefitted from Al-Shifa services in one year

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospitals have benefitted over 900,000 people from their services during the last one year, according to Executive Director of Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospitals Brigadier (retd) Rizwan Asghar.

Brigadier (retd) Rizwan Asghar said that in last one year, we conducted 40,000 operations, 350,000 patients were treated while half a million people were screened for possible eye disorders.

Sharing the annual report of the trust with the media persons, he said that we are increasing the services by 10 percent annually but only the private sector cannot cope with the challenge of blindness as eye diseases are increasing at a fast pace.

Our population is increasing putting the strain on services like sanitation, pollution is compromising hygiene while fact remains that many of the viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can invade the human body are also capable of attacking the surface or interior of the eye, he said.

Unfortunately, diseases that damage the retina, the optic nerve, or the blood vessels that feed them often cause no pain at all which is another major problem, he added.

Brig. (retd) Rizwan Asghar informed that over two million Pakistanis are blind and 80 percent of them could have been cured if properly checked at an early age.

He said that data available with Al-Shifa shows that lack of basic facilities in far-flung areas and unawareness about the timely check-up are the major causes of eyes diseases and ultimately blindness in the country.

He said that the trust is running its four state-of-the-art eye hospitals at Rawalpindi, Sukkur, Kohat and Muzaffarabad.

The hospital in Rawalpindi eye has a capacity of 250 beds with 40 highly qualified eye surgeons and disease specialists. They treat about 1,200 patients daily and conduct 80 to 100 operations per day.