PBU and Bahrain Government collaborate to implement low vision and rehabilitation program in Bahrain
Please click here to view the article in the Daily Tribune website.
The Prevention of Blindness Union and the Bahrain Ministry of Health had signed an agreement to collaborate in the
establishment of a low vision and rehabilitation program in Bahrain.
HRH Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad Abdulaziz Al Saud, Chairman and Founder of Prevention of Blindness Union (PBU), signed on
behalf of his organization while HE Mr. Sadiq Abdulkareem Al Shihabi, Bahrain Minister of Health, signed on behalf of
Bahrain Government. The signing conducted at the Minister's office on 8 March was attended by the Deputy CEO of
Standard Chartered Bank Bahrain who is the main sponsor of the program as part of its corporate social responsibility
called ‘Seeing is believing’.
The project to be implemented by the PBU in collaboration with the Salmaniyya Medical Complex will set up a sustainable
low vision and rehabilitation program that will assist persons with irreversible visual loss to have an independent
living with improve education and employment. It will commence in April 2015 and end by March 2017.
A low vision and rehabilitation clinic will be set up at the Salmaniyya Medical Complex to cater for children and
adults with irreversible visual impairment or blindness. The services to be provided will range from counselling to
low vision assessment, provision of low vison aids, rehabilitation assessment and trainings in mobility & orientation
for the visually impaired. The services will involve clinic based and outreach services to school for the blind and
The project will also re-train ophthalmologists, optometrists, Orientation/mobility expert and ophthalmic
technicians/social worker in low vison assessment and treatment in reputable training centers overseas. Health
education pamphlets and posters will be produced to enlighten persons with visual disability that they can lead a
near normal life with current modalities of low vision and rehabilitation skills, and encourage them to have low
vision assessment and use treatment modalities.
IAPB-EMR hosts IAPB board meeting in Dubai, UAE
IAPB-EMR and PBU are hosting the board meeting of IAPB scheduled to take place from 27-30 March in Dubai, UAE.
During the meeting, the board members will be hosted to a dinner by the IAPB-EMR Chair HRH Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad AlSaud
at the Dubai Racing Club in conjunction with the Dubai World Cup.
PBU and IDB sign a partnership deal
HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the
Prevention of Blindness Union (PBU), had previously announced the launch of “Ahmad bin Abdulaziz
Al Saud Initiative” for the treatment of 10,000 cases of visual disability in Africa; as the
Islamic Development Bank (IDB) aims to form a multilateral alliance against visual impairment
in its member countries. This alliance aims to unite efforts of governmental and non-governmental
organizations in the field of eye care as well as the Ministries of Health and other organizations.
HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, chairman of the board of directors of the Prevention
of Blindness Union (PBU), and the President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Dr. Ahmad
Mohamed Ali, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate and implement “Ahmad bin
Abdulaziz Al Saud Initiative” to treat 20.000 cases of visual disability in Africa.
Both parties will cooperate in implementing “Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud initiative” through
institutional capacity building, supporting of human resources development and developing
systems for combating avoidable visual impairment in Africa and Asia; as well as sending
ophthalmologists to train the medical staff concerned with eye care field after assessing the
needs of African and Asian countries. In addition, the initiative will provide a medical
treatment in the field of eye care and combat visual impairment.
In this regard, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Ahmad bin Abdulaziz, chairman of the board of
directors of the Prevention of Blindness Union (PBU), indicated that this MoU is a part
of the cooperation between PBU and IDB to implement “Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud initiative”,
as it is considered as an important role for organizations concerned with avoidable blindness
prevention. HRH also stressed the importance of the partnership between all concerned bodies
in order to achieve the goals set for this initiative.
HRH indicated that PBU will start implementing the initiative within the next two months, from
“Muhimbilli Hospital” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after the completion of needed equipments in
the eye department, as The Sub Saharan African countries have lack in Medical staff specialized
in eye care as there is 2.7 ophthalmologists per one million people in these countries according
to statistics from National Prevention of Blindness Committee (NPBC).
EMR Trachoma Alliance conducts a Trachoma Action Plan (TAP) Training Workshop
The EMR trachoma alliance organized a training workshop for the development of Trachoma Action
Plan. It trained 10 people from different EMR towards development of a trachoma action plan in
their countries. The training took place from 16 - 17 December 2014 in Bahrain. The workshop
aimed to build the capacity of the participants to:
The trainers were Dr Paul Courtright and Chad Arthur. The meeting was funded by CBM, Fred
Hollows Foundation and Sightsavers International.
- Facilitate the development of the trachoma action plans in countries of the EMR needing a TAP
- Assist countries understand key concepts related to trachoma control
- Support and mentor trachoma programme development where needed
3rd EMR Trachoma Alliance Meeting
The EMR trachoma alliance conducted its 3rd meeting from 18 - 19 December 2014 in
Bahrain. Some of the agenda for the meeting were:
The meeting was funded by CBM, Fred Hollows Foundation and Sightsavers International.
- Review progress of development of mapping proposals to GTMP including how to map refugees areas Review progress of mapping in countries in the process of mapping
- Post mapping- what next?
- Review development of TAPs and SAFE implementations in countries
- Update on 'Qatar creating vision' Orbis proposal
EMR Annual Regional Meeting 2014
The IAPB-EMR held its 2014 annual meeting in Bahrain form 20 - 21 December 2014. The main
theme of the meeting was “Health Management Information System for Eye health” and the sub theme of
“Universal Eye Health: The Global Action plan 2014-19”. The meeting had the following objectives:
- To sensitize the National Coordinators (NCs) for Eye health and representatives of Ministries of Health ( MOH) in charge of HMIS on the importance of HMIS in improving eye health care
- To identify health information needs and potential of various data sources for collection
- To identify major challenges to inclusion of eye health data within HMIS
- To learn good practices in the use of eye health indicators in HMIS in member countries
- To suggest measures to incorporate eye health data into HMIS.
- To review progress of EMR countries in the development and or implementation of the new global action plan: Universal eye health 2014-19.