Dubai, UAE: Ras Al Khaimah Eye Care Centre has launched a Nazar Ayeni initiative that focuses on prevention of preventable blindness and visual impairment.
Nazer Ayeni, which means ‘my eyesight’ in Arabic, is the first charity programme of its kind launched in Ras Al Khaimah. The initiative is in line with the World Health Organisation’s Global Initiative to Eliminate Avoidable Blindness whose vision for 2020 is to eliminate causes of blindness under the theme ‘The Right to Sight.’
The community health programme launched by RAK Eye Care Centre is in line with the vision of His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. The objective of the project is to do vision screenings for all Ras Al Khaimah residents over a certain period of time.
Through the screening, cases where residents need further eye treatment can be identified in order to prevent blindness. More than 1,200 people have already been screened in the initial phase of the project.
A ‘Nazar Ayeni’ vehicle equipped with vision screening tools, computers and internet connection to the RAK Hospital information system has been launched under the programme.
The vehicle, which will be managed by an optometrist and nurse, will take the vision screening vehicle to places such as health centres, communities, government and private offices, universities, schools and malls until all residents in the emirate have been screened. Statistics have shown that every five seconds an adult goes blind while every minute a child loses its eyesight.
“It is estimated that worldwide over seven million people become blind every year whereas 75 per cent of blindness and 80 per cent of visual impairment is avoidable. This programme aims to establish RAK as the first emirate in the UAE to have an epidemiological screening programme for preventable blindness,” said Dr Raza Seddiqi, CEO of Arabian Healthcare Group and Executive Director of RAK Hospital.
Seddiqi added that the screenings will help identify various causes of visual impairment and blindness which will include simple refraction, screening for corneal disorder, colour blindness, cataract, glaucoma and screening for diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, among others.
According to Dr Anchana Sood, Senior Specialist at RAK Eye Care Centre, the leading cause of visual impairment in all regions of the world, except in the most developed countries, remains cataract. Other major causes in order of importance are glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma, added Dr Sood.
© Gulf NewsApr 2015