Age related cataracts is the most common cause of blindness in Pakistan. This treatable and preventable condition is most common amongst the elderly living in poverty. These vulnerable, elderly men and women barely have enough food and shelter to survive. Then they face the prospect of losing their eyesight. Any hope for the future, dignity and independence is lost.
But the good news is that most eyesight problems can be prevented or treated with relatively little expense. Our free eye camps across Pakistan carry out routine eye exams to treat existing conditions, ease physical discomfort and prevent further damage. We also offer free eye surgery, and free glasses to correct near and far sighted impairment.
“Zohra Foundation gave me back my eyesight. I am a widow and no one would give me work because I was blind. They saved my life.”
Mrs Zeenat Hafiz, 73 years of age
Cataracts and the elderly in Pakistan
The elderly population who are suffering from eye conditions in Pakistan also often have social and emotional needs which treatment providers need to take into consideration. Many of them live in extreme poverty with a lack of access to clean water, food and adequate shelter. Our trained doctors and nurses not only provide the necessary the medical treatment but also ensure that patients have the basic necessities needed to survive once they leave the camp.
We also know that we need to challenge the misconceptions and incorrect medical advice surrounding cataracts to be able provide the treatment many people so desperately need. In Pakistan commonly held misconceptions about eyesight problems leads many families and individuals to avoid seeking treatment. We have heard how people have told that cataracts is contagious and that unaffordable, yearly surgery is needed. Families have been led to believe that surgery is rarely successful and could lead to a deterioration in eye sight or even result in blindness. Many patients have even been given a wrong diagnosis and so their cataract surgery has failed to make any difference to their eye sight.
Our Eye Camps
Zohra Foundation not only wants to treat those suffering from eyesight problems but also raise awareness of the issues and medical support available in the wider community. It is only then that sufferers will be able to get treatment earlier and no longer suffer the unnecessary trauma and anguish of losing their eyesight.