Pakistan eye surgery
A team of highly qualified eye specialists from Pakistan’s largest free eye-care network LRBT conducted 400 sight restoration surgeries in Chad in the last week of May 2023. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistani doctors embarked on a humanitarian mission to Chad, one of the world’s least developed countries, where they successfully performed 400 free eye surgeries in 8 days.

A team of highly qualified eye specialists from Pakistan’s largest free eye care network, Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT), conducted 400 sight restoration surgeries in the last week of May 2023 and organised free eye camps in Chad’s capital city N’Djamena, the organisation said. In addition, post-operative examinations were also conducted to ensure patient recovery.

The eye surgery initiative was led by COMSTECH, which is the OIC’s Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and Pakistan’s LRBT. Established in 1984, LRBT has a network of 19 hospitals and 61 eye care centres across Pakistan, providing comprehensive eye care, ranging from simple refraction to the most advanced retinal surgery and corneal transplants. More than 51 million people across Pakistan have received their eye treatment from LRBT, which performs approximately 1,100 eye surgeries daily.

Equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, the team of Pakistani ophthalmologists worked tirelessly, providing much-needed eye surgeries in Chad. “The people of N’Djamena expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the Pakistani doctors for their selfless dedication and their unwavering commitment to improving the lives of others, even in challenging conditions,” the official statement said.

“This successful eye cataract surgery camp is a testament to the power of international collaboration and collective efforts in making a lasting difference in the lives of individuals and communities,” COMSTECH said on May 29.

The eye surgery camp aimed was also aimed at enhancing local capacity through training and awareness campaigns. Pakistani ophthalmologists, known for their expertise, shared their knowledge and skills with local doctors, training them in the latest cataract surgery techniques. The doctors also conducted awareness campaigns involving youth, emphasising the importance of preventive measures to avoid avoidable blindness.

COMSTECH said that it would continue to improve the quality of life and healthcare access for communities in need. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) institute, in collaboration with IsDB, has planned to provide a two-year specialized post-graduate training program to 16 African ophthalmologists in diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma surgery at local institutes.