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Newsletter Archive

3rd & 4th quarter of 2013
2nd quarter of 2013
1st quarter of 2013

4th quarter of 2012
3rd quarter of 2012
2nd quarter of 2012
1st quarter of 2012

4th quarter of 2011
3rd quarter of 2011
2nd quarter of 2011
1st quarter of 2011

4th quarter of 2010
3rd quarter of 2010

Second Quarter 2011

In This Issue


Meetings on Focus

Partner News:

Nadi Al Bassar

Noor Magrabi Foundation

Al Basar International Foundation

CHEF International

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What is PBU?

The Prevention of Blindness Union (PBU) is an International union of Nongovernmental Development Organizations working in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) and Africa. It has the following reputable international NGOs and bodies as members:

  • IMPACT-EMR Saudi Arabia
  • AlBasar International Foundation Saudi Arabia
  • Al Noor Foundation Egypt
  • Nadi AlBassar Tunisia
  • CHEF International Pakistan
  • Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND)
  • Islamic Development Bank,(Ex-Officio member)
  • Middle East Africa Council of Ophthalmology - MEACO
  • WHO EMR. (Ex–Officio member)

The union is under leadership of HRH Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad Al Saud.

The Vision of PBU is to facilitate the provision of comprehensive eye care to all segments of the society based on the principles of equity and justice.

The Mission of the union is to support, coordinate, collaborate and advocate activities in the field of comprehensive eye care (promotion, preventive, curative and rehabilitation) with all stakeholders (such as Governments, Non-Governmental Development Organizations (NGDO), regional and international organizations, professional bodies and institutions) in the EMR and Africa.

For more information on PBU please visit: www.pbunion.org

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Al Noor Institute Doha organizes Conference on Children with Disabilities

Al Noor Institute Doha Qatar, in collaboration with IAPB-EMR and PBU, is organizing ‘Early Intervention Conference for Children with Visual or Multiple Impairments’. The conference aims to create awareness amongst health, education, rehabilitation, and social service fields on early identification and intervention for young children with disabilities.

Many international experts in this field will be speaking at the conference. Interested participants are invited to attend. The conference will be held in Doha, Qatar from 27 - 30 April 2011 at La Cigale Hotel, Doha. For more details visit www.deic-qatar.com.

SiB Project, Jordan
PBU held stakeholders workshop for Diabetic Retinopathy Program in Irbid

The PBU, in conjunction with the Jordan Ministry of Health, held a 2-day stakeholders workshop to fine tune the strategies for the implementation of the Standard Chartered Bank supported Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) program and sensitize all major stakeholders in Irbid region. It was held at the Intercontinental Hotel Amman, Jordan from 9 - 10 February 2011.

The workshop was declared open by the Secretary General of the Jordan Ministry of Health, Dr Difullah Allawzi. The Chairman of PBU, HRH Abdulaziz Ahmad Al Saud, was represented by the Managing Director of PBU Dr Abdulaziz AlRajhi. Standard Chartered Bank Jordan was represented at the occasion by Razan Hindawi, Head of Corporate Affairs.

Dr Obeidat Presentation

Dr Obeidet of MOH Jordan making presentation
during the workshop

WHO releases new global estimates on visual impairment

Using the most up-to-date studies, WHO estimates that the number of people with visual impairment (presenting vision) is 285 million. Of these, 246 million have low vision (and 39 million are estimated to be blind). The Africa region constituted 15% of world blindness while the EMR had 12.6% of world total blindness. Read more.

PBU participated in Africa Wide Meeting in South Africa

The PBU, as a conglomerate of NGOs working in Middle East and Africa, participated in a 3-day Africa Wide Meeting convened by the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Africa region, held from 16 - 18 February in Durban, South Africa. The meeting was attended by all major nongovernmental organizations (NGO) working in Africa, IAPB CEO, IAPB Officials including all the Co-Chairs for Africa, research institutions and PBU partner organizations: Al Basar International, CHEF International and IMPACT-EMR.

PBU Advisor Dr Babar Qureshi

PBU Advisor Dr Qureshi making presentation at the meeting

PBU attends West Africa V2020 NGO Meeting and DESSO Stakeholders Meeting

The PBU participated in the annual VISION 2020 NGO Coordinating Meeting for West Africa held 10 - 11 April 2011 at Guinea Conakry. PBU sought to establish partnership and collaboration with the NGOs in the sub-region for future eye care programs and activities.

PBU also attended a stakeholders meeting for the Diploma in Ophthalmology Training Institution for Francophone Africa - ‘DESSO’, held from 13 - 14 April at the institute in Guinea Conakry. Human resource development is an important program activity of PBU.

PBU in Africa


Regional Primary Eye Care Workshop in Dubai, UAE

The World Health Organization-Eastern Mediterranean Region Office (WHO-EMRO) in collaboration with International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) EMR, Ministry of Health Dubai and Sight Savers International conducted a 3-day workshop on integrating and strengthening primary eye care in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR).

The workshop was held in Gloria Hotel Dubai, UAE. It was attended by the national eye care coordinators and national primary health care coordinators in the EMR countries, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the region, World Health Organization.

PEC Group Picture

Group picture of participants

Blindness and Diabetic Retinopathy Survey in Taif Region of Saudi Arabia

The National Prevention of Blindness Committee (NPBC) of Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the Saudi Ministry of Health, Taif University and IAPB-EMR conducted a population based survey on blindness, visual impairment and Diabetic Retinopathy in Taif Region of Saudi Arabia. The survey used the new Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness plus Diabetic Retinopathy methodology (RAAB+DR). The survey training and supervision was in part provided by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The survey conducted between November 2009 to January 2011 examined 3,052 persons 50 years and above. Preliminary results revealed a blindness prevalence of 2.1%, with cataract, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy as the 3 major causes of blindness. Diabetic Mellitus was present in 29% of the study population, of which 17% had sight threatening Diabetic Retinopathy.

Examination for DR

An ophthalmologist examines for Diabetic Retinopathy in the field

Meetings on Focus:

IAPB Board and Council meeting, 10—14 September, Dubai

IAPB-EMR will be hosting the 2011 IAPB Board and Council of Members Meeting in Dubai, UAE from 10 - 14 September 2011.

Partner News:

Nadi Al Bassar assists refugees from Libyan crisis

Nadi Al Bassar supported thousands of refugees of different nationalities who escaped from Libya to southern Tunisian border town of Ras Jdir.

Nadi Al Bassar in Ras Jdir

Nadi Al Bassar team in Ras Jdir

Cataract campaigns in Tunisia and other parts of Africa

Over 800 cataract surgeries were conducted across different parts of Tunisia from last quarter of last year to first quarter of this year. Areas covered included Gafsa, Kalaat El Andalous, Testour etc.

Also, cataract campaign was carried out in Ouagadougou Burkina Faso. A total of 470 surgeries were conducted between 26 November - 5 December. The expedition was supported by Islamic Development Bank and the Tunisian Agency of Technical cooperation.

Nadi Al Bassar in Burkina Fasso

Nadi Al Bassar team in Burkina Fasso

Egypt Institute for Community Ophthalmology

Al Noor Magrabi Foundation and the CBM Regional Office for Eastern Mediterranean Region have initiated a mutual strategic partnership. The first program within this partnership is to establish Egypt Institute for Community Ophthalmology. The Institute will provide short and long academic courses in Community Ophthalmology, Management for eye care and Training for Ophthalmic Technicians. The Program is expected to start in 2011 with candidates from Egypt and Middle East Region.

Global Sight Initiative; One million eyes see again

Al Noor Magrabi Foundation participated in the global workshop of the Network of Centers for Community Ophthalmology "CCO" organized by Seva Foundation in LAICO, India during 26 – 28 February 2011. Representatives from developing countries and facilitators from USA, Canada & UK have conducted brainstorming sessions to achieve additional one million eye surgeries by 100 hospitals a year by the end of 2015.

Global Sight Initiative

Remarkable achievements in free eye camps and base hospitals

In 2010, Al Basar International Foundation has organized 43 free eye camps in 24 countries in Africa and Asia. In these free eye camps the numbers of patients screened and treated were 177,289 while 15,073 had surgeries and 47,788 spectacles were distributed. In the 20 base Al Basar hospitals across 8 countries a record achievement of over one million (1,044,847) outpatients were seen in the year 2010.

Al Bassar Internation Foundation

School Eye Health Programme in Pakistan and Nigeria

The School Eye Health Programme is designed to improve quality of life and educational capabilities by eliminating blindness and visual disability due to uncorrected refractive errors in school children (5-12) of district/state of Pakistan and Nigeria. The strategy includes training of teachers, screening of school children, vision testing of teacher and family members and holding up health promotion and education sessions at community level (schools & communities) by trained School Eye Health programme personnel’s and vision van. The programme is also focused on operational research with Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology (LAICO) on refractive error and its services.

CHEF International

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