Forty million people worldwide are visually impaired. Retinitis Pigmentosa and Allied Retinal Dystrophies are becoming prevailing causes of visual impairment. On World Retina Day, is observed, the Pakistan Foundation Fighting Blindness (PFFB), a self-help organisation working against blindness, has appealed to the affluent segment of the society to fund its various projects as the organization needs a constant stream of resources for sustenance and expansion.
It is critical to find treatments for visual impairment resulting from inherited retinal disorders as the condition is associated with a severely diminished quality of life. Affected people are less able to perform routine activities of daily living, are less mobile, are more isolated, suffer higher rates of depression, and consequently have a substantially reduced overall quality of life.
Impaired vision is a significant risk factor for falls and fractures and the ability to travel independently, often linked with issues of quality of life, becomes challenging and daunting in the presence of vision loss. People with sight loss confront formidable challenges in using computers and harnessing the internet to access information, to communicate, and to pursue their academic and career aspirations.
PFFB’s work is inspired by Retina International (RI), an NGO which acts as the voice of 50 charities in 34 countries, funding research into rare, genetic, and age-related forms of sight loss. According to the Chief Executive Officer of RI, Avril Daly, RI will launch an online toolkit on genetic testing services this year on World Retina Day. This toolkit will have easy to understand information on the various types of genetic tests available, what they are used for, the benefits of taking a test and the importance of working together as a community to advocate for equitable access to and reimbursement of genetic testing services globally.