My friend was euphoric and jubilant when he met me, his high spirit and sentiments were the direct result of the restoration of his visibility after a cataract operation, at the Agency Headquarter Hospital,Parachinar. His reminiscence of when his father had the same surgery done two decades ago was heartwarming. In those days people had to travel 400 km to Taxila for a cataract operation, one of the causes of blindness worldwide. The Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology (PICO) was established in 1997 on the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), as a joint project through partnership between the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) London UK, Sight Savers and CBM Germany. PICO has been playing a vital role in restoration of vision of tens of thousands of people with pride.

To develop first class ‘Eye Care Centers’ in all seven agencies of FATA, apart from 5 districts of KPK is no small feat. Training of human resources and financial support for a good 10 years is a rare example of devotion and dedication to a noble cause. Here I have just quoted one example, yet in fact the PICO, through its donors agencies, guidance and resources has restored millions of people’ vision. I personally owe my heartfelt gratitude to all those who are in anyway involved in this noble service to mankind.


Kurram Agency, May 1.