|"GO Fund" (Registered Charity No. 1085942)
Building an Advanced Eye Hospital for People on Low Income
Gojra Eye Complex (GEC) of Pakistan
In October 1995 an eye camp was held in the town of Gojra, District Toba Tek Singh in the rural heart of Punjab. Thirteen eye specialists, 4 from Great Britain and 9 from Pakistan, over15 days gave free eye examinations to 11,186 persons on low income. The participating surgeons believed that it was the largest free eye camp in the world in which 1041 hundred operations were performed and about five hundred persons were rescued from actual or imminent blindness. The immense joy which was brought to many families by the restoration of eyesight of their bread-winners was legendary. The above camp was sponsored 50% by the local population and 50% by the SAARC Foundation UK whose four eye specialists observed the exceptionally acute eye care needs of that area first hand. At the end of the camp they proposed that there should be a permanent facility in Gojra to provide patently required eye care to the population because thousands of people were unnecessarily losing eyesight as they did not have even modest resources. Plans were developed and now this facility named as “Gojra Eye Complex” is envisaged to have the following elements: -
1. Primary eye care provision to provide eye checks and operations to patients.
2. Eye Bank of corneas.
3. Training Centre in which with the help of bodies like the SAARC Foundation UK surgeons from the West, as well as treating the deserving patients with complicated diseases, will visit GEC and impart advanced surgical techniques to eye specialists not only from Pakistan but also from other SAARC countries (SAARC, “South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation”, consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). The eye specialists from the SAARC countries, obviously, would be able to travel to this Centre more economically than going to the West.