Grass-root level awareness, treatment most ideal form of health: Azra

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Minister for Health and Population Welfare, Sindh, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho met with members of the Sindh Institute of Ophthalmology. Executive Director of the institute, Professor Sajjad Ali Suhio alongside other representatives of CBM (Christian Blind Mission) were in attendance.

The meeting was also attended by Parliamentary Secretary of Health, Mr. Qasim Siraj Soomro and was held at the EOC. The mission currently operates in 5 Rural Health Centres, and 21 Basic Health Units.

Their community mobilisation is strong and their eye care services cover 10,000 to 15,000 patients at the BHU level and 50,000 to 100,000 at the RHC level.

Minister for Health and Population Welfare, Sindh, Dr. Azra Pechuho said that grassroot level awareness and treatment is the most ideal form of health access however even if the institute should start from the taluka level, it will enable more patients to be treated.

Technology-enabled eye care services in Matiari have yielded promising results so far. 140k people have been screened, 90% referred from screening have made it to their appointments, and 79% of these had their needs met at a primary level. 21% were required referral to secondary care hospitals and only 1% required tertiary care.

The organisation also provided eyecare for school children; with 40k children having been screened. 60% were referred from screening and attended their appointments, 96% had their needs met at a primary level.

Dr. Azra Pechuho stated that there is dire need for Ophthalmologists at a district level and that training for common and routine surgeries should be made a priority. In addition to this she said that if the aim is to improve technology based treatments then all ophthalmologists should confer on how to better modify these apps to ensure that the most amount of people find them easy to use and utilise.

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