Dubai launches new intiative to check blindness
Dubai, September 7, 2008
A new Ramadan initiative, under the name 'Noor Dubai' to check blindness has been launched by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai.
The initiative is aimed at helping the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in achieving its goals outlined in 'Vision 2020: the Right to Sight.'
The initiative was announced by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Event Management Corporation, in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed.
Noor Dubai will treat and provide health services to one million people suffering from treatable blindness and visual impairment in developing countries on a local, regional, and international scale, said Sheikh Ahmed.
Dubai Health Authority will be in charge of implementing the Noor Dubai agenda in collaboration with two leading international organisations - Lions Clubs International and Orbis International, a global development organisation whose mission is to treat and prevent blindness by strengthening the capacity of local eye health partners.
Through its programmes, Noor Dubai will help people suffering from three major eye diseases: Cataract, which is the leading cause of blindness in the world affecting 18 million people representing 48 per cent of the total number of blind people; Strabismus that affects over 5 per cent of children worldwide; and Corneal opacities which is responsible for the blindness of 4.9 million people.
Noor Dubai will give equal importance to preventative and awareness programmes in the UAE and outside, for raising the common man’s understanding on the importance of these two approaches in the prevention of blindness.
The initiative follows the unprecedented success achieved by the Dubai Cares campaign, which was launched last year with a goal of providing primary education to one million underprivileged children around the world.
Providing details on the ambitious initiative, he said Noor Dubai aims to deliver preventive eye care to over one million people as part of its drive to realise its vision of a world free from curable forms of blindness.
'It will endeavour to bring light to millions of people whose lives are threatened by a world of darkness,' he noted.
“Just as Dubai Cares has become a beacon of hope and inspiration to many countries and international organizations, let us all come together to collectively work to ensure Noor Dubai becomes another catalyst towards a bigger international commitment to cure eye diseases and protect children from preventable forms of blindness,” he added.
In addition to the UAE, Noor Dubai will reach out to people in a number of countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine.-TradeArabia News Service