Most disabilities in Pakistan are caused by three diseases: Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Spinal Cord Injury, and stroke. With this in mind, a group in the country’s capital has launched the Vision 2025 – A World Free of Disability program. To learn more about the program, continue reading below, or follow the story here at The Express Tribune.
Vision 2025 is a campaign organized by The Strive Trust of Islamabad in Pakistan. In order to make their vision a reality, The Strive Trust is calling for increased access to medicine, and improved availability of treatment. The Trust aims to realize its ambition in just eight years.
As part of the Vision campaign, Dr. Nisar, and Dr. Misbah Ghaus launched Project 3-S. The two Strive Trust members set their sights on Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Spinal Cord Injury, and stroke. Taken together, these three conditions account for the majority of physical disabilities in Pakistan.
Dr. Nisar describes Project 3-S as a diverse approach. The group targets their efforts on “maximising data collection, influencing policy change, and building a virtual network…” The network allows for influence from within and outside of Pakistan. These unique elements of the project help make it possible to see the project succeed by 2025 says Dr. Nisar.
Another supporter of Project 3-S, Dr. Ansar Rajpoot, describes the project as a series of small steps to reach a greater goal. He also expressed hopes that the project would benefit from modern advances in technology such as artificial intelligence.
Lawmakers also stepped up to support Project 3-S. Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Power, Sardar Awais Leghari, called upon all stakeholders to join forces. He views this as the key to a disability-free Pakistan. The Minister also expressed a commitment to mainstream drugs that would enable treatment for the targeted diseases.
Other members of government pointed out that more work needs to be done to establish rights for the differently abled. Still others insisted that government plans must include the opportunity for the differently abled to seek rehabilitation. There is a sense of unity, regardless of affiliation, surrounding the notion of a disability-free Pakistan.
Recent unity surrounding the project represents a great first step.
“When I tried to talk about bringing the cure to spinal cord injuries in Pakistan, the response was: let China and India copy the formula and then it will be available in Pakistan,” says Strive Trust Chairman Yasir Khan. He describes original interest as meager at best.
The Strive Trust simultaneously initiated its volunteer network and a mobile application for data collection. These steps will help to organize an international conference on the diseases Strive is targeting and the goals it stand for.
Pakistan’s Capital University of Science and Technology (CUST) has also signed an agreement with Strive to create a disability-free Pakistan by 2025.