Pakistan ranks 12th globally in conducting cataract surgeries.


LAHORE -- Pakistan stands at the 12th spot in the global ranking for cataract surgical rate (CSR) and tops the Muslim world with a ratio of 5,203 per million population per year.

Released by the National Committee for Eye Health (NCEH) -- under the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, the report, titled Cataract Surgical Mapping Pakistan-2019, was prepared under the supervision of Prof Asad Aslam Khan, the coordinator for National Programme for Prevention and Control of Blindness. The report has been declared a landmark achievement for Pakistan in meeting the targets set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Cataract remains the leading cause of blindness worldwide, accounting for nearly half (47.8 per cent or 17.7 million) of the cases. The treatment is surgical, a highly cost-effective intervention.

The report, a copy of which is available with Dawn, mentions significant statistics regarding Pakistan's record cataract surgeries in the last two decades. The surgeries were conducted through public-private partnership between the federal/provincial health department and international and national non-governmental organisations (NGOs) following WHO guidelines.

'The current report on mapping of cataract surgical services indicates that Pakistan has exceeded its targets for 2020 that were projected in 2002,' the report reads.

The NCEH carried out a comprehensive survey all over the country to compile the report and found that over 1.1 million cataract surgeries were reported in 2018. The data indicates that Pakistan achieved CSR of 5,253 (with Azad Jammu and Kashmir included) and 5,307 (minus AJK).

'There is an overall preponderance of cataract surgeries in females (male to female ratio is 0.95),' the report further states.

The data indicated the proportion of cataract surgeries by service provider nationally - barring AJK - with the government sector contributing to 15.9pc of the surgeries, forces 1.8pc, NGOs 39.9pc, and the private sector 42.4pc.

In order to achieve a CSR of over 7,500 by 2030, at least 1.84 million surgeries must be performed annually. 'If there is no change in the current annual cataract surgical output, the CSR will drop to 4,628 by 2030,' the report stated. At least 58,000 to 60,000 more...

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