The UAE-based Non-Governmental Charity Organization, Noor Dubai Foundation, led by the Foundation CEO and board member Dr. Manal Omran Taryam and Foundation consultant Dr. Muhammad Mansur Rabiu, signed an agreement with Katsina State Government officials to establish the Katsina Comprehensive Eye Care Center.
This 4-year (2019 to 2022) sustainable comprehensive eye care program is aimed at improving the quality of life and socioeconomic status of people in the state and in neighboring states through improved access to quality eye care services.
The signing event for the agreement to implement this program took place in the Office of the Wife of the President of Nigeria, Her Excellency Aisha Buhari.
Also present at the signing were Mr. Khalifa Almehrzi, the Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Abuja; Dr. Kamal Muhammad, the National Coordinator of Future Assured Program, the Deputy Governor of Katsina State, H.E. Alhaji Mannir Yakubu; Katsina State Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Kabir Mustapha; and various Katsina State government officials including representatives from the Katsina State Ministry of Health.
The program plan was developed after wide consultations and stakeholder meetings with Katsina State government and potential partners. It was built on the World Health Organization Eye Care Service Assessment Tool and a population based survey conducted to determine the magnitude and cases of blindness in the state.
The program is budgeted at USD 2 million and is projected to provide a socio-economic yield of USD 8 million in increased productivity. Furthermore, it will be comprehensive in addressing all major causes of visual loss, including cataract surgeries, free healthcare screening programs, rehabilitation support services for the permanently blind, as well as health education and awareness.
In addition to these, there will also be infrastructure development and human resource development through recruitment and training. The implementation of this comprehensive eye care program will result in a significant improvement in the quality of life for many who lack access to adequate eye care services.
The signing of the agreement has been commended by the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Fahad Altaffaq, who stated that this program provides a chance to positively impact the lives of the visually impaired community and encourages the citizens of Katsina State to take advantage of this opportunity, as this is one of the initiatives that highlights the UAEs commitment towards further strengthening its relationship with Nigeria.
He also commended the Foundation for taking the initiative to tackle visual impairment, as this agreement serves as a significant step towards providing quality eye care services for all.