Approximately 4% of the world's blind live in Pakistan. With 1.25 million people blind, many have limited access to eye care. The majority of Pakistan's trained ophthalmologists work in urban areas at government or private clinics, making accessible and affordable eye care a concern in rural communities. Women living in rural areas are especially vulnerable, as social constraints inhibit their ability to travel to receive necessary services.
Seva strengthens eye care programs in rural Pakistan with our partner, Comprehensive Health & Education Forum (CHEF) International. Seva's work with CHEF International is focused on providing quality and affordable eye care to the farming community of Takht Bhai. In this community alone, it is estimated that 23,000 people need glasses and 10,000 people are blind, including 5,000 who need cataract surgery.
Seva supports CHEF International with local staff development, operational improvements, and funding for direct services. With this support, Seva has helped CHEF become a resource to other Pakistani eye hospitals. CHEF International is also part of Seva's Global Sight Network and receives direct TOMS support to provide free or subsidized medical treatments, glasses and surgeries for those who cannot otherwise afford these services.