Unveiling the Pediatric Eye Cancer Crisis in Pakistan: Urgent Need for Awareness and Action


this article sheds light on the concerning rise in pediatric eye cancer cases in Pakistan. Insights from Paediatric Oncologist Dr Tanzeela Farah at Al-Shifa Eye Trust Hospital highlight the challenges and emphasize the crucial role of early detection and proper treatment.

Disturbing Statistics:

Pakistan is witnessing a significant increase in pediatric eye cancer cases, marking one of the highest rates in the region. Dr Tanzeela Farah, a Paediatric Oncologist at Al-Shifa Eye Trust Hospital, revealed that 30% of eye cancer patients are children, posing a substantial challenge.

Urgent Call for Early Detection:

Dr Tanzeela stressed the importance of early detection, diagnosis, and proper treatment in effectively combating pediatric eye cancer. Early intervention can prevent children from experiencing vision loss, underlining the critical role awareness plays in addressing this pressing issue.

Consequences of Delayed Consultation:

Highlighting the repercussions of delayed consultation, the Paediatric Oncologist noted that many eye cancer patients face serious consequences, including vision loss or the loss of an eye. This underscores the urgent need for creating awareness and encouraging timely expert consultations.

Challenges and Commitment of Al-Shifa:

Dr Tanzeela acknowledged the lengthy and expensive nature of eye cancer treatment. Despite these challenges, Al-Shifa Eye Trust Hospital remains committed to treating underprivileged patients for free, leveraging the expertise of professionals and utilizing state-of-the-art equipment.

Alarming Incidence and Treatment:

The Oncologist revealed that Al-Shifa has treated 400 children with eye cancer in one year alone. Additionally, they have registered 1,600 pediatric eye cancer cases during this period, emphasizing the scale of the issue. The follow-up sessions after chemotherapy extend for 5 to 7 years, highlighting the comprehensive and prolonged nature of eye cancer treatment.

Early Diagnosis at Birth:

Dr Tanzeela pointed out that eye cancer is sometimes diagnosed at birth. Al-Shifa Eye Trust Hospital is fully equipped to treat children from ages zero to 15 years old, demonstrating the need for specialized facilities catering to the unique requirements of pediatric patients.

Challenges in Remote Areas:

A significant portion of cancer cases occurs in remote areas where financial resources are scarce, and awareness about specialized facilities is lacking. Dr Tanzeela highlighted the need for targeted efforts to reach these areas, providing proper education and resources for parents to seek timely and adequate treatment.


The rising prevalence of pediatric eye cancer in Pakistan demands immediate attention, awareness, and concerted efforts. Al-Shifa Eye Trust Hospital’s commitment to free treatment for underprivileged patients reflects a step in the right direction. It is imperative to address the challenges, promote early detection, and ensure that no child suffers the consequences of untreated eye cancer.

M Ramzan
M Ramzan
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