EMR Health Ministers support new action plan and inclusion of PB within WHO priority
The Ministers of Health of the EMR had today unanimously accepted a resolution supporting the draft
action plan for prevention of blindness 2014-19 and also the inclusion of Prevention of Blindness
(PB) within the WHO priority area of work, as the draft WHO work plan has no PB as priority. This
was during the 59th WHO-EMR regional committee meeting presently taking place in Cairo from
1 - 4 October. The resolution was submitted by Saudi Arabia and accepted by the 23 countries of the
region. This was a result of the high level advocacy effort undertaken by the IAPB-EMR office.
IAPB leadership changes at the 9th General Assembly
The 9th General Assembly of IAPB was successfully held in Hyderabad India, from 17 - 20
September. It had about 1600 delegates from 85 countries. Major highlights of the general assembly
were the changes in top leadership of the IAPB after the expiration of the tenure of current leaders.
The new President and Chairman of the board is Mr Robert F McMullan. The new Vice President is Dr Johannes Trimmel.
Prince Abdulaziz A Abdulaziz Al Saud re-elected as a chair for IAPB-EMR
In recognition of his continuous support and effective leadership in eye care regionally and
internationally, Prince Abdulaziz A Abdulaziz Al Saud has been re-elected as chair of the IAPB-EMR.
Also the regional chair for Africa and Western Pacific were re-elected.
But the other four regions have following new chairs:
Prof Janos Nemeth for Europe
Prof Louis Pizzarello for North America
Dr Juan Batlle for Latin America and
Dr Taraprasad Das for South East Asia
Dr Abdulaziz AlRajhi re-elected into the Executive Committee of IAPB
During the 9th General Assembly the Managing Director of IMPACT-EMR Dr Abdulaziz AlRajhi was
re-elected into the Executive Committee of IAPB. The Committee acts on behalf of the Trustees
between Board Meetings and provides support and advices to the Chief Executive on strategic issues.
Other members of the committee are:
President and Chairman of the Board, Mr Robert F McMullan
Vice-President, Dr Johannes Trimmel
Treasurer, Mr Adrian Poffley
Prof Serge Resnikoff (Vision CRC)
Ms Kathy Spahn (Helen Keller International)
Two persons from EMR received IAPB awards
The IAPB General Assembly in Hyderabad saw the recognition of a number of personalities that have
contributed immensely to eye health and prevention of blindness in their own ways. Two persons were
nominated by EMR IAPB and accepted for the EMR regional awards. They were Dr Jaouad Hammou, the
Moroccan National Coordinator for Prevention of Blindness and Dr Rubina Gillani, the Country
Director of Fred Hollows Foundation Pakistan. Dr Hammou was present to receive his award in
Hyderabad but Dr. Gillani sent a representative to collect the award on her behalf.
1st International Conference on Healthy Lifestyles and Non-communicable Diseases in the
Arab World and Middle East
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern
Mediterranean region, organized a conference on “Healthy lifestyles and Non-communicable diseases”
in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 10 - 12 September 2012. The meeting under the patronage of the custodian
of the two holy mosques His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had in attendance high level
WHO officials and representatives from ministries of health, foreign affairs and planning, the League
of Arab States, United Nations funding agencies, programmes and agencies, international financial
institutions, development banks and other key international organizations are expected to attend.
The meeting focused on the implementation of the United Nations (UN) Political Declaration on
Non-communicable Diseases in the Region.
At the conference, the IAPB-EMR and the Saudi National Prevention of Blindness Committee organized
presentations on the relationship of prevention of blindness control and NCD control.
IAPB 9th GA: A wide range of topics covered
The 9th General Assembly of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness once
again brought together some of the best minds in eye health who delivered lectures, driving discussions
and moderating symposia. The meeting was held from 17 - 20 September 2012 at the Hyderabad International
Convention Center in India. The theme of the meeting was Eye Health: Everyone's Business.
Speakers included various international experts who organized theme based sessions,
The programme discussed the latest research and broadened knowledge on every important aspect of the
eye care sector and included topics such as:
- Diabetes retinopathy – New paradigms for management in areas of limited resources
- Upscaling blindness prevention efforts: The advocacy and paradigm shift needed
- Social entrepreneurship & eye care
- Gender & blindness
- Refractive error