COMSTECH in collaboration of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT) Pakistan has conducted three cataract surgery Campaigns in Niamey (Niger) and Ndjamena (Chad) . The overall objective was to combat avoidable blindness by delivering high quality and value for money cataract services that will eventually improves the vision related quality of life that can allow the patients to fully participate in social activities and reduced limitations in work-related activities.
The specific objectives were to:
- Provide free high-quality sight-restoring cataract surgeries in selected areas.
- Provide post-operative treatment.
- Reduce blindness related poverty and eliminate reliance on assistant of others
- Build the capacity of local health professional during the campaign (Nurses, Doctors and clinicians) to identify eye problem, screen, and provide care, which will include treatment and referral.
- Train local ophthalmologist on Phaco Alternative.
The purposes to conduct cataract surgery campaigns in Niger and Chad was to benefit the people who does not afford the fee of cataract surgery especially those who live in remote areas, to provide awareness using radios and TV to enhance the awareness of the community and train eye heath workers, especially ophthalmologists on using phaco alternative methods.
Teams of experienced ophthalmologists from Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT), Pakistan, conducted over 800 cataract surgeries, examination of post-operation patients and training workshops for local doctors with Phacoemulsification using the operation theater and other facilities available locally. Apart from clinics, the Pakistani teams also launched public awareness campaigns about eye health and visited local schools. All the consumables and medicines for these eye camps were transported from Pakistan.
LRBT is the largest NGO of Pakistan fighting blindness and transforming Lives. LRBT is committed to creating a better Pakistan by preventing the suffering caused by blindness and other eye ailments. LRBT provides state of the art comprehensive free eye-care in keeping with its tradition of excellence, efficiency and compassion for all. LRBT is present in all 4 provinces of Pakistan with a network of 19 fully-equipped Hospitals, 54 Primary-Eye-Care-Clinics and 4 Outreach Clinics.
The successful eye surgery campaigns in Niger and Chad by Pakistani doctors have widely appreciated by African Countries, and OIC-GS. The OIC Secretariat has now requested the COMSTECH to conduct similar Eye Camps and capacity building events in other African Countries i.e. Chad, Burkina Faso, Benin, Somalia, Uganda and other LDC OIC member states.
The IsDB has requested the COMSTECH to arrange training of African Eye Specialists in Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy. The COMSTECH in collaboration with LRBT has chalked out a detailed training program for African Doctors at LRBT Tertiary Eye Hospital, Karachi. The training will cover both medical and surgical aspects. They will be trained to conduct physical examination of outdoor patients through conventional diagnostic instruments i.e phoropter,, kerotometer, Binocular indirect and direct opthalmoscopes, Autorefractor, slitlamp bimicroscope, tonoref, lensometer, pychemeter and retinoscopes etc. screening, surgery, post-operation examination and follow-up. The LRBT tertiary care Eye Hospital, where the training is planned is accredited one and is equipped with latest instruments and equipment. The surgical training will cover techniques like ECCE, SICS, Trabeculectomy and Phaco emulsification. It would also include training in the use of Yag and Argon lasers.