islamabad - The Al-Shifa Eye Trust has planned to operate around 5000 cataract surgeries at annual basis with the cost of Rs 80 million across the country in this regard after Eid-ul-Fitr programme will be initiated.

Talking to APP here on Wednesday, President of the trust Lt General Hamid Javed (Retd), all the arrangements in this connection have been finalized and surgeries will start soon after Eid, he said, adding that the expenses of the new initiative would be met through donations from the generous contributors.

The Al-Shifa Trust has decided to add surgical units to its free eye camps organised all over the country, especially in the far-flung areas.

The decision was taken to operate the cataract patients at their doorstep to save them from travelling to the hospitals which will save their time and money.

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40 and is the principal cause of blindness in the world, said President of the Trust Lt General Hamid Javed (Retd).

To a question he said that trust has taken new initiative to eradicate blindness and surgical units will conduct the operations will comprise experienced doctors, paramedics, equipment, medicines and glasses.

The surgical teams will use the existing facilities of basic health units and other medical facilities in the respective areas to conduct the procedures, he added. He said that the trust aims at delivering quality eye care facilities to the people in the rural and underserved areas. Dr Lt Colonel Tariq Usman (Retd), General Manager Al-Shifa

Centre for Community Opthamology also spoke on the occasion. He said that free eye camps are arranged in the remote areas where the patients have no access to hospital and lack recourse to afford the quality medical facilities. The trust has the capacity to establish 15-18 eye screening camps in a month while school screening team conduct their operations for 5-6 days a week, he added.

It may be mentioned that Al-Shifa Centre for Community Ophthalmology runs one of the largest outreach programmes for the prevention of blindness in country; their free eye camps include free eye examination, diagnosis of diseases, evaluation of refractive errors, distribution of free medicines, provision of free glasses and free eye surgeries.