January 2016 - Present
Anzal Begum Foundation working with Sightsavers
Late 2015 the Anzal Begum Foundation’s Trustees agreed to work with Sightsavers to fund over 300 cataract operations in South Asia in 2016. Looking to 2017, the Trustees have made the decision to continue supporting this extremely important work.
Mr Johngir Saddiq, one of the Foundation’s Founders whilst on a personal visit to Pakistan in August 2016, visited a hospital in Mandra where cataract operations are undertaken. “It was amazing to see such a simple and quick operation make a huge difference to people’s lives. I spoke to patients, who said the operation will make such a massive difference to their lives. One elderly lady was so excited that she would be able to walk to her friend’s house as she use to before she had the problem with her eyes. It sounded such a simple thing that we would take for granted but for this elderly lady she was been confined to her home and was becoming extremely isolated; now she would have the freedom and independence to socialise with her friends again. We at the Foundation are proud to be ‘making a meaningful difference’ to someone’s life.”
Transforming lives with the gift of sight
Sightsavers is one of the world’s leading international charities, dedicated to combating avoidable blindness and promoting equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
A Million Miracles
ataract is the world’s biggest cause of blindness, with over 20 million people affected. Having lost their sight, these people inevitably lose their livelihood and their ability to support a family and forge a better life. The vast majority of people blinded in this way are among the poorest of the poor – already only scraping by, their loss of sight is a catastrophic setback in a world with no safety nets or support.
But a cataract operation takes less than an hour and can cost as little as £30.This modest yet life-changing procedure can offer a brighter future to families in urgent need. Sightsavers is working with partners to tackle the backlog of patients with cataract in developing countries. They launched the Million Miracles Appeal to fund a million sight-restoring surgeries by 2018, transforming lives and galvanising support for this neglected area of healthcare provision. The Anzal Begum Foundation is supporting this flagship appeal to not only directly fund surgeries for people in need, but help Sightsavers to develop long-term sustainable eye care services for some of the world’s poorest people.
- 80% of blindness could be prevented or cured
- Cataract is a build-up of protein in the eye’s lens that causes it to gradually go cloudy, preventing light passing through. Cataract leads to a blurring of vision, worsening until it is like looking through frosted glass. Treating cataract involves an operation to remove the lens, and replace it with a plastic one. The most common type of cataract is age related and most people diagnosed have a degree of lens opacity in both eyes, though one is often further advanced and may need surgery before the other.
Cataract purely in one eye is less common and usually occurs after trauma to the eye or as a result of specific eye diseases. Given the high proportion of patients with cataract in both eyes, it is most common for us to fund surgery on both eyes, one typically a month after the other, though we do fund surgery on just one eye, if this is all the patient needs.