KARACHI- World Sight Day is observed to raise awareness for the 36 million people who are blind, and an additional 217 million people suffering from moderate or severe visual impairment around the world. Therefore, a program termed as ‘Seeing is Believing’ was launched in 2003, to tackle avoidable blindness.
80 per cent cases of blindness and vision loss are either curable or preventable, which means that, 4 out of 5 visually impaired patients lose their sight needlessly.
In September, Standard Chartered Pakistan announced that they had reached their set goal to raise USD100 million for the fight against avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The goal was reached two years ahead of the bank’s 2020 target date.
According to the bank’s management, the fund-raising and welfare journey in Pakistan has truly been inspiring, impacting over 12 million beneficiaries. The Bank has helped conduct over 500,000 sight restoring surgeries, trained over 60,000 Lady Health Workers and screened over 1.5million children for refractive errors. The bank also recruited 25 visually impaired employees, who are working as a critical part of their workforce.
Standard Chartered Pakistan, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Shazad Dada stated that, “In Pakistan, we have come a long way in the Seeing is Believing journey. We started by simply helping in restoring people’s eyesight by sponsoring cataract surgeries and training lady healthcare workers. This progressed to taking up complex initiatives like the current Diabetic Retinopathy project across numerous districts in the country.”
He also added that their team is proud of the Seeing is Believing program, and that they have helped in reducing the prevalence of Cataract Blindness by 20% in Pakistan.