Needs Analysis

Worldwide Magnitude of Blindness

  • Approximately 2 million people become blind every year. This number includes individuals who experience complete blindness as well as those who have significant vision loss that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
  • On average, one person becomes blind every 5 seconds. This means that by the time you finish reading this sentence, another person has likely lost their sight.
  • Shockingly, one child becomes blind every minute. This is a tragic statistic, as vision loss at a young age can have a significant impact on a child’s development and quality of life.
  • An overwhelming majority, approximately 90%, of blindness occurs in developing countries. This is due to factors such as poverty, lack of access to healthcare, lack of education and inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
  • Thankfully, 80% of all blindness is preventable or treatable. Many cases of blindness can be prevented through regular eye and vision screening of the children, timely treatment of the disease and prevention of various hazards leading to blindness. However, in many developing countries, these interventions are not widely available or accessible.

Islamic Countries

Corneal opacities are a significant cause of blindness in Islamic countries, primarily due to infections and injuries. Every day about 4000 people go blind due to corneal diseases in Islamic Countries. The demand for corneal transplants is high in these regions, but the supply of the human corneal tissue is insufficient. leading to prolonged waiting lists and increased cases of corneal blindness. There is a need for greater awareness about the importance of corneal donation and transplantation in Islamic countries as well as to take initiatives to increase corneal donations and improve corneal transplant services. Encouraging people to donate their corneas after death can help save countless corneal blindness and restore sight to those in need.

Prevalence of Corneal Diseases in Pakistan

Faisalabad Region

According to the survey of Prevalence of Blindness in Punjab in coordination with WHO, there are 5.2 million people who experience visual disabilities, whether partial or complete, in one or both eyes. Among them, there are approximately 156,000 individuals who are considered as Corneal Blind Patients.

Why Indigenous Corneal Donation Programme Is Necessary?

Corneal diseases affect a large number of individuals indicating a significant health concern. Many patients require corneal transplant services which are primarily available in the private sector only. However, there are now a few public sector institutions for corneal transplants, like Allied Hospital Faisalabad and KEMU Lahore where corneal transplant services are available. The donor corneas used in Pakistan are mainly obtained from donations from abroad like the US/Sri Lanka/Nepal or they are purchased from abroad and imported. Uptil now there is no program to harvest corneas from our local population in our country, except Lyallpur Eye Trust, Faisalabad under which hospital based corneal retrieval programme is successfully being run in Allied Hospital, Faisalabad.

Why A Registered Trust/Foundation/Organization Is Required For This Programme?

The aim is to assist corneal blind patients in the most effective, transparent, long-lasting, and sustainable manner. Such Organizations will address any administrative, social, legal or religious problems that will arise during such activities. Moreover, it will be capable of providing human resources to materialize corneal transplant and retrieval programs in a long-lasting and sustainable manner. The organization will also arrange mass awareness programs and community sessions about corneal donations .Lastly, financial management will be borne by such organizations to ensure the success and and longevity of the programme.

No structured/organized programme of corneal donations was available in Pakistan before 2017.

It was started in Faisalabad under Lyallpur Eye Trust in 2015 and Faisalabad Eye Bank in Feb 2017.