In This Issue
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:
Chair IAPB-EMR addressed EMR Health Ministers
The Chairman of International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Eastern Mediterranean Region
(IAPB-EMR), Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad Al Saud, addressed the EMR Ministers of Health during the just
concluded 58th Regional Meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) EMRO which held
in Cairo from 2 - 5 October 2011. The Chairman thanked the Ministers for their continuous support
to eye health and prevention of blindness. He further solicited for their cooperation in supporting
reports on eye health in the forthcoming Executive Board meeting of the World Health Organization
and the 65th World Health Assembly to be held in January and May 2012 respectively,
during which progress report on the WHO Action plan for the prevention of Avoidable blindness
2009-2013 will be discussed.
WOC2012 to discuss topical issues on prevention of blindness
The World Ophthalmology Congress 2012 (WOC) taking place from 16 - 20 February 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE
has organized a series of sessions to address topical issues on prevention of blindness and eye care.
The sessions are titled World Sight Forum (WSF). The session will have eminent speakers and discussants
from wide arena of leaders in ophthalmology and allied field including public health experts, health
administrators, policy makers, clinicians etc.
Some of the topics to be covered include:
- VISION 2020: What next after the year 2020?
- Novel control strategies for diabetic retinopathy
- Can trachoma be eliminated in the next decade: What are the challenges?
- Public health control strategies for glaucoma: What are the prospects?
- Pursuit of VISION 2020: Through the general health system and development agenda
- Can onchocerciasis be eliminated in the next decade: What are the challenges?
- What are the human resources development challenges to achieving VISION 2020 in developing countries?
For more details on the WOC2012 programs and registration visit:
Jordan Minister of Health commends PBU
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Minister of Health, Dr Abdullatif Wreiket, had commended the efforts
of PBU in working to reduce avoidable blindness in the Middle East and Africa regions. The Minister
made this remarks during the final signing ceremony for the Diabetic Retinopathy Program in Irbid, Jordan.
The program is a Seeing is Believing programme of Standard Chartered Bank which will be implemented
by PBU in collaboration with Jordan Ministry of Health. It will last for 4 years and will provide
health promotion, education, screening, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with diabetic
retinopathy. It also involves human resource development and equipment supply.
The signing ceremony was held on 6 October 2011 at Four Seasons Hotel, Amman. The PBU was represented
by its Managing Director Dr Abdulaziz AlRajhi while Standard chartered bank was by Mr Ahmed Abu Eidad
the CEO of the SCB Amman.
Programme Manager for Jordan project appointed
Mr. Sohail Ayaz Khan has been appointed as the Project Manager for the Diabetic Retinopathy Program in Jordan.
He was the Deputy CEO Programs for CHEF International - one of our partner NGOs - and he is seconded by this
organization to the Prevention of Blindness Union. CHEF international is an international NGO involved with
eye care, education and disabilities in many countries. Mr. Khan has wide international experience in strategic
planning programming and management especially in the field of eye care and prevention of blindness.
He has Masters in Business Administration with major in Human Resources and Masters in Information Technology.
IAPB 9th General Assembly 2012
The International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) will hold its 9th General Assembly Meeting
from 17 - 20 September 2012 at the Hyderabad International Convention Center in India. The theme of the meeting
is Eye Health: Everyone’s Business - Make it yours today!
The abstract submission is now available online. Submitted abstracts should focus on any of the following topics:
- Social entrepreneur and eye care
- Health systems strengthening
- Neglected tropical diseases and non-communicable diseases
- Advocacy for eye health
- Human resource development
- Eye care management issues
- Primary eye care
- Technology in eye care
The deadline for online abstract submission is 01 March 2012. The early bird registration is also available
online. For further details, please visit the IAPB meeting’s website at www.9ga.iapb.org
EMR Regional Meeting to review progress of implementation of WHA resolutions and regional recommendations
The IAPB-EMR will be organizing a regional meeting to assess the successes, challenges, and learning’s in the
implementation of World Health Assembly resolutions (specifically the Action Plan 2009-2013 for Prevention of
Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment) and the regional recommendations on the control of glaucoma,
diabetic retinopathy, school eye health and primary eye care at national level.
The meeting which is sponsored by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and International Agency for the Prevention
of Blindness (IAPB) will be held from 20 - 21 November 2011 in Dubai, UAE.
All national coordinators for the prevention of blindness in the EMR, NGDOs and experts in public health
phthalmology will be attending the meeting.
WHO-EMRO sets up task forces for the development of resources for PEC integration in the EMR
The WHO-EMRO in collaboration with the IAPB-EMR had commenced implementation of the recommendations of the
regional PEC workshop held earlier in the year in Dubai. Towards this task forces have been established to
develop training resource for the training of PHC workers in eye health and also develop monitoring tools
and data collection forms for eye health. The taskforces are expected to complete their tasks in the
last quarter of this year.
IAPB-EMR participates in the PEC working group
IAPB-EMR was invited to participate in the meeting of the Primary Eye Care Working Group of the IAPB
in order to learn and share experiences. The meeting was held in Dubai from 15 - 16 September 2011
immediately after the IAPB council meeting. The meeting resolved to improve communication, linkages,
coordination and information between IAPB regional groups and other PEC and primary health care (PHC)
Egypt Institute for Community Ophthalmology
Al Noor Foundation Egypt in collaboration with CBM is establishing the Egypt Institute for Community
ophthalmology in Cairo. The Institute will provide short and long academic courses in Community
Ophthalmology, Management for Eye Care and Training for ophthalmic technicians. A new facility has
been prepared within Al Noor complex in Cairo to harbor the Institute. Studying is expected to start
in 2011 with candidates from Egypt and Middle East Region. For more details, please contact
Dr. Gamal Ezz El Arab at firstname.lastname@example.org
Institute for Rehabilitation Sciences established in Pakistan
The CHEF international had established the Pakistani Institute of Rehabilitation Sciences in Islamabad,
Pakistan. The institute which will commence operation in the last quarter of 2011 will provide short
courses and degree programs in all fields of disabilities including vision. For more information, please
send an email to email@example.com
Vitreo-retinal services started at AlBasar Hospital in Nigeria
AlBasar International Foundation had started vitreo-retinal services at its Makkah Eye Hospital in Kano,
Northern Nigeria. Hitherfore, this area lacks full vitreo-retinal services. The services introduced
includes pars-plana vitrectomy, lensectomy and phaco surgeries with or without silicon or gases.
The services are been provided by highly qualified surgeons. Other supportive procedures available
include argon laser photocoagulation, fluorescein angiography and fundus photography.
The services at the center as other ophthalmic services are highly subsidized to make them affordable.
For more information send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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