‘Seeing’ the world through prism of visually impaired - GulfToday

‘Seeing’ the world through prism of visually impaired


Photo used for illustrative purpose only.

Everyone knows what a blind or visually impaired person must be going through. With the whole world enveloped in darkness, daily chores are a big task. Even simple things such as washing the face or brushing teeth can be a major hurdle.

People with vision impairment are more likely to struggle with finishing daily tasks, and to experience more pain, discomfort and anxiety than individuals without eye problems.

Globally, around 253 million people suffer from visual impairment, but 80 per cent of it is curable or avoidable.

The UAE has been chalking out plans and services to help the visually disadvantaged.

Sharjah Charity International, SCI, has assisted 7,206 eye patients with blindness and eye diseases at a financial value of Dhs3.2 million from 2012 until the end of 2019, thanks to the support and donations of philanthropists. The charity stated in a report that donations supported the fight against campaigns for the blind, and helped ensure examinations and surgeries for 7,206 eye patients suffering from cataract, glaucoma, corneal pain, poor visibility and conjunctivitis.

The campaigns aim combat blindness and visual impairment, indicating that they express human emotions in supporting the underprivileged and patients by providing the treatment expenses and referring patients to surgeries according to their respective needs. The campaigns emphasise the values of giving inherent in the UAE society.

Noor Dubai Foundation has also been pulling out all stops to tend to the visually impaired.

Last year, it organised its first ‘Mobile Eye Camp 2019’ at the Narail, Khulna District in Bangladesh, in collaboration with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dewa, where 5,000 people benefited from the programmers’ activities.

The programmes include screening and providing diagnosis and health care, conducting surgeries, and distributing spectacles at each camp.

Noor Dubai has organized several mobile eye camps in Bangladesh, where they have provided medical and diagnostic services to over 35,000 patients, conducted over 4,000 surgeries, and distributed 11,000 eye glasses.

It is just not in Bangladesh that Noor Dubai has been doing creditable work; its reach has even extended to countries in Asia and Africa.

More than 27 million individuals from all over Africa and Asia have benefited from the free treatment and preventive programmes, which include the provision of surgeries, eyeglasses, and medication.

There is a further ray of hope when illustrious and path-breaking Emiratis are involved. Recently, a five-year-old Syrian refugee “Sama”, living in Lebanon with her family received a prosthetic eye through an initiative by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

Sama, who was playing in her modest house, was not expecting to become one the victims of the explosion that caused severe damage to Beirut port recently.

However, during the explosion, the glass panes in her house shattered and one shard entered her left eye, leading to the loss of vision.

The girl was among the people included in the initiative of Sheikha Fatima, aimed at covering the treatment and rehabilitation of people injured in the Beirut explosion.

She underwent an eye transplant and can now lead a normal life.

Sama’s family thanked the UAE and Sheikha Fatima for her generous support and for covering the expenses of the treatment.

Struggles with daily life intensify most for people with vision impairment who also have other ailments such as arthritis, hepatitis or depression.

On World Health Day, which falls on October 15 every year, one should spare a thought for the visually challenged. Those with normal eyesight should consider themselves extremely fortunate.

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