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:
Nadi Al Bassar concludes its 15th annual course
Nadi Al Bassar - a partner NGO of PBU - concluded its 15th
Nadi Al Bassar Course at Hammamet, Tunisia from 30 May - 1 June. It
was held in collaboration with MEACO (MEAGS, MEAVRS, MEACRS), the
Faculty of Medicine University of Tunis and the Alexandria University.
The Islamic Development Bank was a major player in sponsoring the
Participants were from North, East and West Africa. The DESSO (Regional
Center in Conakry) and IOTA (Regional Center in Mali) were both
represented. The scientific program had excellent speakers from North
Africa, UK, Italy, France, Belgium and Egypt. There were wet labs
training sessions as well.
During the course Prof Ridha Mabrouk, the founder of Nadi Al Bassar,
was awarded the SITELKOL Award for Life Achievement. Dr Abdulaziz
AlRajhi, President of MEACO, received the Golden Medal of Nadi Al
Bassar in appreciation of his efforts in the Middle East and Africa
and his sustainable collaboration with Nadi Al Bassar.
E.Y.E. (Enhancing Yemen's Eye health) Forum formed
A forum has been formed to address the deteriorating eye health
situation in Yemen caused by the protracted political and civil
uncertainties. It is called Enhancing Yemen’s Eye Health (E.Y.E.)
Forum. The E.Y.E. Forum is initiating a 3-year term multi NGO
result-oriented intervention program to address some of the most
urgent eye health needs in some districts of the country. The program
was developed in a meeting convened by IAPB-EMR and PBU from 30 April -
1 May 2013 in Dubai. The meeting was attended by NGOs working or
interested in working in Yemen. These included Christofell Blinden
Mission (CBM), Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF), Sight Savers International,
Nebras Health Society, AlBasar International Foundation etc. For more information,
please contact the PBU office firstname.lastname@example.org.
Libya develops national eye health action plan
The Libyan Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO-EMRO and
IAPB-EMR, had developed a new action plan for eye health in Libya. This
is in compliance with the recent World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution
66.4 requesting countries to domesticate and implement the new Global
Action Plan for Eye Health, "Towards Universal Eye Health: Global
Action Plan 2014-19". The action plan was developed during a planning
workshop held from 10 - 12 June in Tripoli, Libya. The country becomes
the second to develop a new action plan in line with the WHA, following
Qatar, which had earlier developed its action plan.
66th World Health Assembly: Action Plan for Universal Eye Health 2014-19 adopted
The new Global Action
Plan for Universal Eye Health 2014-2019 was approved at the 66th World Health Assembly
held in Geneva from 20 - 28 May 2013. His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad Abdulaziz Al Saud, the
Regional Chair of the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) of International Agency for Prevention of
Blindness (IAPB), made the opening supporting statement on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the member States
of the EMR. This was followed by positive interventions from Congo (on behalf of Africa region); Sri
Lanka (speaking on behalf of SE Asia region), Vietnam, USA, Indonesia, Zambia, India, Iran, Malaysia,
Iraq, Bangladesh, Thailand, Italy, Barbados, Japan, Bahrain, Maldives, Surinam, Pakistan and the long
term champions of the new plan - Australia and Mexico.
A total of 22 countries made positive statements in support. Unlike many of the other items and
resolutions discussed at the WHO, this resolution was passed without any amendments, which is a
testament to the fantastic work done leading up to the Action Plan.
Prince Abdulaziz Ahmad Abdulaziz Al Saud making the intervention at the WHA
Regional commitment to address eye health workforce crisis in Africa
A regional commitment has been made by several non-governmental organizations, professional bodies and
training institutions to work together towards addressing the severe shortage of human resources for eye
health in Africa. Please click here
for the statement of commitment made by 18 organizations. The commitment was made at a workshop on human
resource for eye health (HReH) organized by Sight Savers International in collaboration with IAPB Africa
held in Dar es Salam, Tanzania 25 - 26 March 2013. PBU was one of the organizations that participated at
World Sight Day (WSD) 2013
The 2013 World Sight Day’s theme is "Universal Eye Health". The theme is in line with the recently approved
World Health Organization (WHO) Action Plan, "Towards Universal Eye Health: Global Action Plan 2014-19",
that was adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2013. The key focus of the action plan is to promote
universal eye health coverage and reduce levels of avoidable blindness. This year, the WSD will take place
on Thursday, 10 October 2013.
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