Children
 Pakistan
Project #14597

Sight for 2.6 Mn. poor blind children in Pakistan

by The Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust

Respected Supporters,

Thanks a lot for your continuous support towards our cause of eradicating ccurable blindness specially among poor children in Pakistan.

You will indeed be very happy to know that with your help we have been so far able to treat over 31Million patients and transformed lives of more than 18Million beneficiaries direct and indirect.You will also be happy to find out that our 31st Million patient is a child by the name of Zohra from Tando Bago.She had pricked her eye while collecting wood for stove and accidentally injured her eye badly.Her surgery recovered her lost vision.

Her complete story along with other latest updates can be found on our website www.lrbt.org.pk

Lrbt management and team remains indebted for your support and generosity.

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Tahir is a 15 year old boy who had cataract in both his eyes since he was 8. His teachers often pointed out the issue to his parents and asked them to get his eyes checked, however due to financial constraints they did not take him to a doctor and instead used local remedies, which obviously didn’t work. Ultimately his vision became so poor that he was dropped out of school and needed support for performing every day chores as he could not even walk independently.

A couple of days back Tahir was taken to a local government hospital in emergency due to high fever where the doctors after examining and treating him called for an ophthalmologist for getting his eyes examined. The doctor diagnosed him with hyper mature Cataract that needed immediate surgery costing Rs. 40,000/- The family was stunned to hear this as they were people living below the poverty line and had never in their lives saved this kind of money. Belonging to a farmer family, his father’s only income was the share of crops he received from his landlord.


The dejected family was returning home from the hospital in a public transport and as Tahir sat beside his brother with tearful eyes, a passenger sitting next to him asked him the reason. His brother narrated the whole story to the man. Fortunately that man knew about a free eye care facility in Gambat and told Tahir’s brother to take him there. Tahir and his brother were overjoyed hearing this and went to Gambat two days later. At LRBT Gambat hospital Tahir was thoroughly examined and as a special case was admitted for his cataract surgery to be performed the next day.

By the grace of Almighty he was successfully operated with intra ocular Lens IOL transplant, free of cost. Upon his post operative examination, though in a little pain, he was delighted to be able to see again.

His family was lost for words to thank the staff and donors of the hospital. LRBT had brought back hope in their lives when they had lost it all. The family with tears in their eyes prayed for the longevity and welfare of the trust and said it’s a beacon of hope for the poor and wretched.

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They Say I am beautiful! I wish I could see myself
They Say I am beautiful! I wish I could see myself

In Pakistan alone there are 18.7 million blind and visually impaired people out of which 2.6 million are children who can be easily cured by simple procedures including cataract which is the major cause of blindness and can be treated for as low as $ 81 for a child at LRBT probably less than you would spend on a dinner/iftar at a restaurant.

www.facebook.com/lrbt.pakistan


The reality for most blind and visually impaired people in Pakistan is that they have little or no hope of accessing treatment or information on what preventable measures they should take mostly due to unaffordability and inaccessibility to quality eye care. They are often subjected to a life of begging on the streets or need permanent support of their already over stretched families.


There is a strong linkage between blindness/impaired vision and poverty. A blind person is dependent on his family for his/her needs. So not only is there a reduction in the family income as a result of their disability but a family member is also diverted from productive work to act as a caregiver. A study by Sightsavers International has estimated that the annual loss of productivity caused by the 1.8 million people who are blind in Pakistan and are therefore not gainfully employed is Rs 69 billion which is 0.8 % of the GDP.

With Love


In this array of darkness THE LAYTON RAHMATULLA BENEVOLENT TRUST (LRBT) has emerged as the only ray of hope for the poor blind. LRBT is the largest provider of Free Eye-care in Pakistan devoted to the prevention of curable blindness and impaired vision in people who live around the poverty line. It was established 30 years ago by 2 retiring businessmen Graham Layton & Zaka Rahmatulla who out of their love for humanity wanted to give back to the community upon their retirement.

During our 30 years of existence over 30 million patients visited our OPDs and over 3 million surgeries were carried out. We are, according to an independent estimate the largest provider of Eye care in the country treating 36 % of all eye patients visiting OPD of hospitals, performing 27 % of all eye surgeries & 32 % of all Paediatric cataract surgeries.


All treatment as well as surgery at LRBT is totally free so that no man, woman or child should go blind simply because they cannot afford the treatment. LRBT has touched & improved the lives of more people than any other NGO in Pakistan. Help us Help More!

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Athar being examined at LRBT hospital
Athar being examined at LRBT hospital

"The words pounded like drumbeat in my head. No cure, no stopping it unless you undergo corneal transplant" Athar, 19, reveals the trauma of going blind as a result of corneal opacity.


Athar’s mother told us that the signs of his condition were appearing shortly after he turned 10. Not just him but his three sisters also suffer from corneal opacity, which afflicts 14 % of the blind population in Pakistan. There is no treatment for Cornel opacity except that the person undergoes Corneal Grafting, an extremely expensive surgery that also requires a donor cornea.

Athar grew up in a poor locality of Malir Town, Karachi Pakistan with his four sisters. All of them attended a government school in their locality. His father had fits of depression and had taken early retirement and it was his mother who was determined to send all her children to school and worked day and night as a tailor. She had always dreamt of a better future for her children but her dreams shattered when one by one four of her five children started losing sight around the age of 10, with their eyes turning cloudy. His sisters continued school for a few more years but a stage came when gradually all of them dropped out due to visual difficulties. The desperate mother took Athar to an ophthalmologist before he reached that stage, but lost all hope when the doctor told them that there was no cure except for corneal grafting which costs $385 /- per eye. This was simply beyond their means and the grieving mother returned home with her son, who instead of becoming her support had become a burden.


It's a life, Athar once thought, he'd rather die than face. 'I just couldn’t imagine living into adulthood with this condition,' he told our staff. He tried to deal with the fear of dropping out from school by studying harder than usual but in vain, leaving him more desperate and depressed. Seeing his sisters who had turned almost blind he lost all hope as he could see himself heading in the same direction.


Then something happened that changed his life forever. A LRBT School Screening team in one of their routine visits, visited his school and discovered his corneal opacity. He was referred to LRBT’s Korangi Hospital in Karachi. There, after a thorough checkup, he was put on the waiting list of patients awaiting cornea donations. His sisters were also brought to the hospital and were also put on the waiting list. A ray of hope flickered in their lives and they prayed to God for a miracle. A couple of days later the lucky four received a call from the hospital informing them that 4 corneas have been received, requesting them to visit the hospital immediately. Hopeful yet scared they came to the hospital and were admitted for their surgery which was performed the very next day. The corneas were implanted successfully and while some vision returned a few days after surgery, it took almost 8 months before their full vision was restored, which is common in cases of corneal transplants. Upon his last follow up visit, Athar told us that he could not believe he was able to see again.

Ather and his sisters can now see and their hearts are filled with gratitude and praise for LRBT, its doctors and the generous donors. Ather is back in school now and has also found a part time job to support his mother’s income. One of his sisters has rejoined school whereas the eldest one has found a decent job in a bank.
From the depth of darkness & despair Athar and his sisters have emerged into the bright light of hope. They had all accepted it as kismet but were fortunate enough to have access to LRBT which changed their lives forever.

Help us change the lives of millions more like Athar and his sisters. Help us turn them into productive members for their families and society. Help us offer them a future.

Athar after corneal grafting
Athar after corneal grafting

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You would be pleased to know that out of our targeted 1030 child sight restoration surgeries 170 children have already been given the Gift of Sight through your generous donations. These children would now be able to achieve their full potential and lead a normal life and so would be their parents. We are extremely grateful to you all for your generosity.

 

Baby Laiba, daughter of Islam ud din belongs to a poor family and lives in liaqutabad .She is 12 years old now but when she started facing eye problem she was in kindergarten but due to lack of knowledge and money the parents did not take her to any eye doctor. Now she is in grade sixth and her vision has become very blurred. She is also a heart patient since birth due to which her immune system is very weak as compared to any child her age.
Recently, seeing the deteriorating condition of her eye sight her parents consulted a private doctor who diagnosed her with cataract but since the costs were high for the surgery and they were very needy the doctor referred them to LRBT. Before she had developed cataract, her vision was perfect and she could see clearly but with passage of time it started deteriorating. At LRBT, she was thoroughly examined and was given a date for her cataract surgery.
After her successful surgery, she was told to revisit the hospital after 2 weeks for follow up.
Now her sight has been fully recovered. She is a girl with high spirits and big plans for her future. She wants to become a doctor and serve poor people of Pakistan.


Her parents were all prayers and very thankful to the doctors and donors of LRBT that helped give Laiba a new life, free from dependency, where she can enjoy and see every color of life.


Help us help more!

Laiba - Waiting for her surgery
Laiba - Waiting for her surgery

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Organization Information

The Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust

Location: Karachi, Sindh - Pakistan
Website: http:/​/​www.lrbt.org.pk
Project Leader:
Lrbt Pakistan
Executive Director
Karachi, Sind Pakistan