Islamic Development Bank Launches Alliance To Fight Avoidable Blindness II In Djibouti


By Celestine Okorie, Correspondent South Africa

Within the framework of the Second Generation (2nd Phase) of the Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness (AFAB), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) have executed cataract surgery campaigns in the city of Djibouti and its surrounding rural localities.

The campaign, which was held during April and May 2021, was conducted in collaboration with the National Programme for Control of Blindness-Djibouti and the “Institut Ophtalmologique Tropical de l’Afrique (IOTA)”-Mali.

Under these campaigns, financed by the Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA), 11,709 patients were given vision screening and 1,032 cataract treatment surgeries were conducted in addition to providing post-surgical monitoring and visits to patients.

These campaigns are a part of a continued commitment to performing 100,000 surgeries in the next five years under the IsDB’s Regional Cooperation and Integration Department initiative.

The Djibouti city campaign was honoured by the visit of H.E. Mohamed Warsama Dirieh Minister of Health and H.E. Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud, the Minister of National Education and the Vocational Training.

Minister of Health H.E. Mohamed Warsama Dirieh stated: “I would like to thank the National Programme for Control of Blindness, very sincerely, for the hard work that has been accomplished for the needy people. My sincere thanks to the Islamic Development Bank and the Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA), without whom these campaigns would not have taken place. This action illustrates the close relationship between Djibouti Government and IsDB particularly in the health sector.”

IsDB President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, indicated that “IsDB and ISFD plan to continue to provide free treatments to the poor and promote surgical technological advancement on patients suffering from visual impairment”.

Based on the success of the First Generation (1st Phase), the IsDB and the ISFD decided to introduce the Second Generation of the Alliance. This new programme will broaden the outreach to other preventable eye diseases and focus more on capacity development while continuing reducing the prevalence of blindness due to cataract.

AFAB aims to benefit 13 member countries namely Burkina Faso, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Somalia, and Togo.

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