In This Issue
Meetings on Focus
Nadi Al Bassar
Noor Magrabi Foundation
Al Basar International Foundation
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:
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
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
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
back to top