Qatar Creating Vision conducts over 3.6 mn eye screenings
September 18 2018 07:30 PM
Dr Mohamed al-Hajri and Dr Faisal Naqadan with children
Dr Mohamed al-Hajri and Dr Faisal Naqadan with children


Qatar Creating Vision (QCV), funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and implemented by Orbis International, has provided over 3.6mn screenings, it was announced on Tuesday.

The programme has prescribed around 179,000 pairs of eyeglasses to children and a further 1,100 surgeries have taken place. Over 45,000 individuals have been trained on eye health.

Last month, two Qatari doctors from the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) witnessed first-hand the work of the initiative in Pune and Madurai, India.

QCV was established in 2015 to provide free eye tests and treatment to children across India and Bangladesh. In addition to ophthalmologists and community health workers, the training has also been provided to teachers, government officials, community and religious leaders.

Ali Abdulla al-Dabbagh, deputy director general for planning at the QFFD commented, “By engaging the Ministry of Public Health and Hamad Medical Corporation, we have the opportunity to combine QFFD’s financial contribution and Qatar’s technical skills and experience to tackle avoidable blindness. Through this partnership, we are able to help many more children across India and Bangladesh. The positive insights shared by Dr Faisal Naqadan and Dr Mohamed al-Hajri will be instrumental in future activities."

Dr Mohamed al-Hajri, director, Emergency Preparedness and Response at MoPH, said the visit to India was a unique and important experience

“My area of expertise is disaster relief and responding to emergency situations. The visit with the Qatar Fund for Development was a unique and important experience. I had the opportunity to witness a programme built for sustainability and was impressed by the collaborative efforts of Orbis, the local partner hospitals, and the schools,” said Dr al-Hajri.

While in India, both Dr Hajri and Dr Faisal Naqadan, from HMC’s Ophthalmology Department, visited the Refractive Error Among Children programme. One of India’s largest eye screening programme, it aims not only to identify children with refractive errors but also to provide them with prescription eyeglasses and surgeries when required.

“As an ophthalmologist, I was impressed by the passion, level of care, and professionalism I witnessed. This is a unique programme and I am very happy to see how the combined expertise of the Qatar Fund for Development and Orbis is changing so many lives in India and Bangladesh,” said Dr Naqadan.

Following a request by QFFD, Orbis International, recently expanded the work it does in Bangladesh to devise a programme to help the Rohingya people, and those within the local host community, who are struggling with vision loss.

Since February 2018, Orbis has worked with local partners in Bangladesh to screen almost 25,000 Rohingya people, carry out 413 surgeries, and prescribe nearly 8,000 treatments. The number of treatments required has been higher than originally expected with most being severe cases; the majority of Rohingya people have never had access to eye care.

Last updated: September 18 2018 08:26 PM

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