Valuable Partners & Non Governmental Organisations (NGO)
Al-Shifa in its capacity as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness is cooperating with several international and national NGOs with the aim of providing comprehensive eye care and preventing blindness. A number of projects are being run with the support of these NGO'S.
A). Sight Savers International (SSI, UK) -
i. Low Vision Project:-
This joint initiative involves the training of optometrists, low vision training for special education teachers, optician training to produce low cost low vision devices, and awareness of ophthalmologists about low vision. These cadres shall then form the nucleus for a sustainable low vision program in the country.
ii. Cataract Project:-
Under this project AL-Shifa Trust is screening patients in rural areas for cataract, which is the leading cause of blindness in Pakistan. Patients are transported to the hospital in a bus and operated in controlled environment. This is a three-year project and aims to treat 15000 cataract patients. Similar project has started in Sukkar with the help of Sight Savers International.
B). Lions International Sight First Program (LCIF, USA):-
This collaborative project involves the screening of rural populations for diabetes and treatment of those detected with diabetic eye disease. The two components of this project include community based screening and referral, and hospital based tertiary treatment. As part of this initiative, training is also being imparted to general health care physicians to identify potentially blinding diabetic eye disease.
C). Trust for Voluntary Organizations (TVO, Pakistan):-
Under the series of joint projects called Al-Noor (Beacon of Light), mass school screening of urban and rural areas of Islamabad and Rawalpindi has been conducted. The special feature of this program is involvement of school teachers for screening. In addition, TVO has supported community based screening of rural populations for cataract and provision of cataract surgical services in remote areas.
D). International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF, Canada):-
This joint project entails the screening of school going and non-school going children for treatable eye diseases and avoidable causes of visual loss. The special emphasis of this project is screening of pre-school children and primary eye care training of community health workers and school teachers.
E). Government of Japan:-
Our very valuable partner since early days of A-Shifa has supported a project to uplift the facilities in the free patient area and Vit-A deficiency alleviation.
F). ORBIS International:-
A recently started collaboration with Al-Shifa, it is supporting a program to provide orientation and training to specialty heads in respective sub specialties. It has also offered to support for screening programme for refractive errors in children and to improve services in pediatric department.
G). Operation Eyesight Universal (OEU, Canada):-
This collaboration has helped to set up a local production of eye drops facility (LPED) that is now manufacturing 16 different eye preparations. This has significantly reduced user and provider costs for treatment. OEU is also supporting the setting up of a microsurgical training facility for district and sub-district level ophthalmologists for training in microsurgery techniques and IOL implantation.
H). International Eye Foundation Seeing 2000 Project (IEF, USA):-
This project is aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of ocular surgery in children with treatable blinding eye conditions. Through this project, pediatric oriented ophthalmologists are being trained in pediatric ophthalmology and squints. In addition, community based screening to identify children with surgically treatable eye conditions is also being carried out.
I). Save the Children (USA):-
This cooperation is aimed at developing teaching and training materials for primary eye care, and to develop methodologies and modalities for training of basic health care workers in primary eye care.