Sightsavers facilitates govt in providing optical services in Punjab


In order to provide refractive and optical services to people, especially those in rural areas, an initiative called Improving National Systems in Pakistan for Integrated Action on Refractive Error (INSPIRE) has been launched by Sightsavers in collaboration with National Programme for Prevention and Control of Blindness and its provincial chapter, i.e., College of Ophthalmology and Allied and Vision Sciences (COAVS), Mayo Hospital Lahore.

A launch ceremony in this regard was held in which Qamar uz Zaman Qasarani, Additional Secretary Primary & Secondary Health Department, South Punjab was the chief guest, while Munazza Gillani, Country Director Sightsavers Pakistan, Dr. Arif Hussain, Program Director COAVS, Professor Dr. Rashid Qamar Rao, Head of Eye Department NMC – Multan, Dr. Farooq Ahmed, DHO Medical Services, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, Director Program DG Health Office, Dr Waseem ul Hassan Rimzi, Director General Health Services South Punjab and representatives from Social Welfare, Education Department, IRMNCH Programme and Persons with Disabilities also attended the event.

Districts Sheikhupura and Multan from Punjab province are the target areas of the said project. The project has already been benefitting many from over 2 months.

Qamar uz Zaman Qasarani, Additional Secretary Primary & Secondary Health Department, South Punjab said that INSPIRE project is addressing one of the most pressing challenges of unavailability of quality opticianry services.

He appreciated the role of Sightsavers and said that this project is materializing the Government’s vision of making health facilities available for everyone at grassroot level.

“The five-year INSPIRE project will reach over a million people with eye health screening services at primary health care level while providing around 200,000 people with refractive and optical services,” disclosed Munazza Gillani, Country Director, Sightsavers, while sharing details of the initiative.

She further said that the Sightsavers, in collaboration with the COAVS, Lahore, has initiated the INSPIRE project to assist the development of a comprehensive approach to strengthening refractive and optical services in Pakistan.

The project will also make a significant contribution to the effective scaling up of screening, refractive services and eyeglasses provision and will promote the integration of these approaches into government-led national programs.


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