Restoring sight – the context for this application
WHO advise that restoration of sight is one of the most social and cost effective health interventions. This is a Rotarians Ophthalmic Initiative (ROI) and Blindness Prevention Donor Advised Fund (BPDAF - see annex 1) supported avoidable blindness project. This project supports programs promoted by WHO, the International Agency for Blindness Prevention (IAPB), the Rotary Action Group for Blindness Prevention (RAGBP) and VISION 2020: THE RIGHT TO SIGHT, and many international eye-care charities, by encouraging Rotarians to help promote activities which will help eradicate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. It addresses our collective Clubs’ & Districts’ ambition to help 'make blindness history.
Location and impact
Embracing 9 Clubs in India, Pakistan and the UK, and supported by four Districts, the project will restore sight for some 1,970 people in North Karachi and local surrounds, Sindh, Pakistan.
Cataract surgeries will be provided for the needy, marginalized and disadvantaged people living in rural areas where no government facilities are available and in the urban slums of cities where facilities are not adequate and services provided are far from satisfactory. While the private sector offers treatment these are at prohibitive rates rendering them helpless and as a result they drift into blindness.
Due to limited availability of healthcare facilities and high poverty levels, our cooperating organisation - LRBT, the largest NGO in Pakistan which conducts 33% of all eye care treatments in Pakistan, will undertake the surgical element. It provides appropriate state-of-art services free of charge thanks to the help of donors.. WHO has estimated that the restoration of sight has an economic benefit of some $1,200 p.a. On that basis this project will enhance the local economy by some $2.3m
Pakistan has a Per Capita Income of US$ 77 per month, 2/3rds of the Pakistani population lives around the poverty line; the
bulk of their income is spent on food. There are 1.7 Million blind people and another 170,000 become blind every year. 85%
of blindness is curable. 60% is due to cataract which can be cured by a simple operation. Another 17 million people have
impaired vision, 7.6 million due to cataract.
$28.50 will restore the eyesight of a person and return him or her to being a productive member of society. In 1916 Paul Harris stated: "Rotary will continue to be charitable, but it can do more than that; let it remove the cause of that which makes charity necessary". Restoring eyesight will do just that. RIP D.K. Lee asks us to reduce child mortality: A child who is allowed to go blind is twice as likely to die before the age of 13, in a less developed country. We will restore the eyesight of children, as well as adults, who will be able to take care for their families.
It is anticipated that the project will complete within 9-11 months of the formal start date.
The project will provide improved sight care / restoration free of charge to some 1,970 low income patients in North Karachi and surrounding areas. By doing it will restore their self esteem and capabilities to support themselves and their families.