By Hina Kiyani
ISLAMABAD: COMSTECH and LRBT in collaboration with Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Pakistani mission in Niger has scheduled to arrange eye camps for cataract surgeries and training workshops in Niamey, Niger from January 31 to February 07.
This was revealed by the Coordinator General COMSTECH, Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary during a press conference.He said, a seven-member team of experienced ophthalmologists from Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT), Pakistan, has been selected for the task.
The team will conduct more than 400 cataract surgeries, examination of post-operation patients and workshop for training of local doctors on cataract surgery with phacoemulsification using the operation theater and other facilities available at tertiary hospital of Niamey.
Apart from clinics, the Pakistani team will also launch a public awareness campaign about eye health and will visit local schools as well. All the consumables and medicines for these eye camps will be transported from Pakistan.
Prof. Choudhary said that a COMSTECH and LRBT team visited Niamey during the third week of November last year and conducted 25 cataract surgeries, serviced and repaired all the faulty equipment and made it available for screening and cataract surgeries. He said that the Niger authorities are satisfied with the performance of the COMSTECH-LRBT team and are requesting for regular visits of the ophthalmologists to conduct eye surgeries. These visits are part of the COMSTECH program of health and higher education for Africa.
The COMSTECH program of health and higher education for Africa includes a number of programmes for capacity building in areas of ophthalmology, dermatology, neurology and telemedicine for the benefit of people of Africa, said Prof. Choudhary.
The objectives are to provide free high-quality sight-restoring cataract surgeries, provide post-operative treatment, reduce blindness related poverty and eliminate reliance on assistance of others, build the capacity of local health professionals during the campaign to identify eye problem, screen, and provide care, which will include treatment and referral, training of ophthalmologists on Phaco alternative.
Mr. Abdul Haleem Asghar, who is looking after the COMSTECH Africa program and Mr. Murtaza Noor, Media Advisor COMSTECH were also present during the press conference. Layton Rahmatullah Benevolent Trust (LRBT) is the largest NGO of Pakistan, fighting blindness and transforming lives. COMSTECH is an OIC Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation headquartered in Islamabad with the objective to enhance scientific and technological cooperation among OIC member states to achieve socio-economic development in the Muslim world.