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:
PBU participates at WOC2012 Abu Dhabi
The PBU will be present at the World Ophthalmology Congress (WOC) 2012 taking place in Abu Dhabi, UAE
from 16 - 20 February.
IAPB-EMR Regional Workshop on Progress of VISION 2020 in the Region
The IAPB-EMR held a regional meeting to assess the successes and challenges in the implementation of
WHO Action plan 2009-2013 and regional recommendations on Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, School
Eye Health and Primary Eye Care at the national level.
The meeting was held from 20 - 21 November 2011 in Dubai. It was attended by most national coordinators
for prevention of blindness in the region, EMR Co-Chairs, experts in public health ophthalmology
and programme management. The meeting came up with achievable action points for the NCs, NGOs and
IAPB to accelerate the implementation of VISION 2020 programs in the region. The meeting was organized
by PBU and supported by the Islamic Development Bank and the IAPB.
EMR Primary Eye Care Taskforce Workshop held
The Primary Eye Care Taskforce set-up by WHO-EMRO and IAPB-EMR had a 2-day workshop in Dubai to develop
training manual and indicators for reporting and monitoring of eye health at primary health care.
The meeting was held from 22 - 23 November 2011. Draft manual and indicators are at the final
stage of development.
IDB–PBU Consultative Meeting
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the PBU and a number of NGOs and development agencies involved
in eye care and prevention of blindness in the Middle East and Africa held a consultative meeting in
Dubai on 19 November 2011. The meeting provided a forum for discussions and harmonization of
priorities in the implementation of eye care and prevention of blindness activities in the Eastern
Mediterranean and Africa regions.
EMR Human Resource Working Group sets up priorities
The Human resource working group of the EMR had worked out modalities to strengthen human resources
development for eye health in the region. These was at a meeting of the group which held on the 22
November 2011 in Dubai. Among the majors strategies was to undertake a region wide situational
analysis of all HR and training institutions involved in eye health. Twining programs will be
eveloped between institutions in the region, as well as Human resource interest groups at national
2nd RAAB DR Survey in Saudi Arabia
The PBU and the Saudi National Prevention of Blindness committee in conjunction with Ministry of
Health is conducting a second Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness plus Diabetic Retinopathy
Pilot Study in Jizan Province, Southern part of Saudi Arabia. The survey is expected to be
ompleted by the end of January 2012. It will provide more data for planning of eye care and
diabetic retinopathy services in the province.
The first survey was conducted last year at the Taif region Western province of the Kingdom.
The success of that survey in generating interest of the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders
made it possible to undertake the second study.
Al Basar International Foundation held workshop on second decade of VISION 2020
On 27 November 2011 in Khartoum Sudan, Al Basar International Foundation organized a workshop to
review the global perspective in Vision 2020 for the next decade, and major achievements and
challenges of Vision 2020 especially as it relates to Sudan. The workshop consisted of three
sessions: inauguration, scientific session and Group Discussions. Speakers included Dr R
Pararajasegaram, Prof Daud Khan, Prof Saleh Memon, Prof Kadir Kazi, Prof Adel ARushood,
Dr Babar Qureshi, Dr Haroon Awan, Dr Mansur Rabiu and Mr Hassan Minto etc.
Makkah Ophthalmic Technical College graduates second batch
The Makkah Ophthalmic Technical College established in 2007 had graduated the 2nd batch
of 43 Ophthalmic Assistants. The 3-year diploma programs cover 2 main fields Diploma of Ophthalmic
Assistant (DOA) and Diploma of Ophthalmic Technologist (DOT).The diploma award ceremony was held
on Saturday, 26 November 2011 at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum.
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