Noor Dubai helps women who can’t get treatment as they are unable to travel due to childcare responsibilities.
Dubai: Noor Dubai Foundation (Noor Dubai) highlighted its efforts in promoting gender balance in eye healthcare in developing countries.
Noor Dubai Foundation aims to empower women through the gift of sight, in line with the directives of the UAE government and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 5: “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
Dr Manal Taryam, the CEO and Board member of Noor Dubai, said the foundation tackles the global issue of gender balance in healthcare in many ways that include screening women in their homes, raising community awareness and employing women to reach out and educate other women within their society.
“One of the objectives of the Noor Dubai international outreach programmes aside from treatment is promoting gender balance as it was observed that the women face greater challenges in getting access to treatment for many reasons including less access to financial resources, inability to travel due to childcare responsibilities, and lack of access to information. The greatest challenge they face is that male figures in the family are perceived of greater value and therefore more likely candidates for surgery if needed,” she said.
She added, “ In some of the countries we visited, we noticed that due to cultural perceptions and beliefs, women were reluctant to come forward to seek treatment, as they would be considered outcasts in society.”
According to the latest statistics published by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, globally about 50 million people are blind, and of this figure 64 per cent are women. This figure could increase to 75 million by 2020 unless increased efforts are made to prevent blindness.
“As part of its efforts to combat blindness globally, Noor Dubai Foundation conducts international outreach programmes called the Mobile Eye Camps in developing countries across Asia and Africa. The activities in the camp include screening and providing diagnosis and healthcare, conducting surgeries, and distributing spectacles during each camp,” she said.
Dr Taryam said the foundation has continuously conducted mobile eye camps since its inception in 2008. The Mobile Camps provide eye healthcare in remote areas that lack healthcare infrastructure aiding those who aren’t being served and would go blind without intervention.