ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Foundation for Fighting Blindness (PFFB) celebrates World Retina Week from September 22-28 to have attention of the society to the plight of people with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) disease.

From Asia, PFFB has the distinction of becoming the first full member of Retina International, formerly known as International Retinitis Pigmentosa Association (IRPA). IRPA, which was established in the United States in 1975, is a voluntary charitable umbrella association of 33 national societies each of which is created and run by people with RP disease, their families and friends.

PFFB has made elaborate plans to celebrate the international event. Several programs will be organized in this context. Major Radio Channels of the country, TV channels and various newspapers have also promised their full support in order to propagate this humanitarian cause.

Research has proved that Retinal diseases are hereditary and are transmitted through the defected genes of the parents. The ratio of such diseases is unusually high in Pakistan and the factor responsible for this alarming number is inter-family and cousin marriages.

The presence of a defective gene in an inter-family couple would result transmission of disease in 50% of the children produced.

For over twenty-five years voluntary organizations have been active through out the world promoting research in retinal degenerative diseases.

PFFB along with medical research also offers multi-fold services of Audio World Programme, which is intensively engaged in empowering people with visual disabilities. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) and Government Special Education Department initiated an IT Centre National Project to offer educational and pleasure listening opportunities through audio-textbooks and recordings of fiction, non-fiction and literary books to the Visually Impaired Persons (VIPs).

Blind students from class five (5) up to Masters Level receive on request-recorded textbooks and supported material on CD’s and

audiocassettes as prescribed by examination boards.

PFFB IT Centre- Accessible Internet Café established in 2007 at PFFB head office Islamabad. More than 400 beneficiaries across Pakistan benefited through its services.

Painkillers ‘are the cause’ of millions of headaches

Up to a million people in the UK have “completely preventable” severe headaches caused by taking too many painkillers, doctors have said.

They said some were trapped in a “vicious cycle” of taking pain relief, which then caused even more headaches.

The warning came as part of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) first guidelines for treating headaches.

It is also recommending acupuncture in some circumstances.

This can end up getting into a vicious cycle where your headache gets worse, so you take more painkillers, so your headache gets worse and this just becomes worse and worse and worse”

Prof Martin Underwood Warwick Medical School

“Medication overuse headaches” feel the same as other common headaches or migraines.

There is no definitive UK data on the incidence of the condition, but studies in other countries suggest 1-2% of people are affected, while the World Health Organization says figures closer to 5% have been reported.

While painkillers would be many people’s instant response, they could be making sufferers feel even worse.

Prof Martin Underwood, from Warwick Medical School, who led the NICE panel, said: “This can end up getting into a vicious cycle where your headache gets worse, so you take more painkillers, so your headache gets worse and this just becomes worse and worse and worse.