Al-Shifa Eye Trust has set a new record of treating half a million eye patients, including 2.5 lacs children in rural and remote areas of the country during the last year, with 1,500 free eye camps to reduce avoidable vision impairment. Maj Gen (R) Rehmat Khan, President of Al-Shifa Trust, said this while briefing media persons about the outreach program achievements in 2022-23 here Sunday. Rehmat Khan said that Pakistan Army had facilitated the trust in arranging free eye camps in remote areas, including Waziristan, Malakand, Pasni, Gawader, Zhob, Jiwani and the far-flung regions of Gilgit-Baltistan, and Chitral. He said that camps aimed to reduce the cases of avoidable vision impairment, alleviate the suffering of underprivileged patients, especially in deprived areas, improve the eye health of the community, raise health awareness and reduce the level of poverty associated with visual impairment. The Trust’s president said that free eye camps were also organized in the deprived areas, including Loralai, Chaman, Skardu, Chitral, North and South Waziristan and Malakand, where the Trust received a very positive response. He said about 250,000 children were screened for eye diseases in girls’ and boys’ schools, while around 12,000 surgeries were carried out at various surgical camps in rural areas of Pakistan. Rehmat Khan said that Pak Army ensured foolproof security, transport and other facilities for teams of doctors conducting camps under challenging terrains. In some areas of South and North Waziristan, Army personnel provided food and accommodation and arranged all other things paving the way for treatment and surgeries for the people. He said Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital recently established a two-day-free Surgical and School Screening eye camp in Zhob, which was generously sponsored by the 29 Brigade of Pakistan Army. The complicated cases from remote areas were referred to Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Rawalpindi, adding that the trust had started an outreach program in 1992, and its free eye camps covered the entire country. Giving details, he said that Al-Shifa Centre for Community Ophthalmology delivers quality eye care at the doorstep of rural and underserved populations. Dr Tariq Usman, General Manager of the Al-Shifa Centre for Community Ophthalmology, said the trust runs one of the widest-spread outreach programmes to prevent blindness. “We are increasing the number of free eye camps in remote areas where the patients lack access to resources for quality medical facilities.”, he added.