“The statistics are astounding: 37% of recently screened Special Olympics athletes required eyeglasses and 18% of those screened were wearing clinically incorrect eyeglasses,” said Special Olympics Pakistan’s General Secretary Ronak Lakhani following the first vision screening for Pakistani athletes in three years.
Thanks to Pakistan’s top eye hospital network under the Layton Rahmatulla Benevolent Trust (LRBT), Special Olympics Pakistan’s athletes now have access to state of the art eye care services. Kicking off the first Healthy Athletes activities in Pakistan, 12 Clinical Directors, paramedics and other healthcare staff from six LRBT hospitals in Karachi underwent training in how to conduct eye examinations. The pilot team’s instruction culminated in the first vision screening event for 69 athletes on 7-8 May.
Made possible by a grant from long-term global partner Lions Club International, the partnership expands Opening Eyes to a national level in Pakistan, aided by LRBT’s network of 18 branch hospitals situated in all four of Pakistan’s provinces allowing follow up services and professional eye care for athletes in an LRBT hospital close to them.
Moving forward, these newly trained eye care professionals will carry out a vision screening event in their respective localities, working closely with local Special Olympics Programs, to provide eye care and illuminate the world of Pakistani athletes.