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UAE-based foundation organizes free ‘cataract caravans’ in Philippines

A charity foundation based in the UAE recently organized complimentary eye treatment initiatives on one of the largest islands in the Philippines, aiming to assist the local community and enhance access to high-quality eye care services.

With more than 2 million Filipinos affected by various visual impairments, including over 1 million individuals dealing with cataracts, the Noor Dubai Foundation, focusing on global blindness and visual impairment prevention, deployed specialized caravans on Samar Island in November and February. During these initiatives, doctors provided diverse eye care services, including performing hundreds of cataract surgeries.

The UAE Embassy in Manila revealed that the program's activities, encompassing screenings, diagnoses, and eye care services, benefited over 1,969 individuals. Within the program, 586 cataract surgeries were conducted, and 454 spectacles and medicines were distributed. These initiatives were launched in the provinces of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar, with the latter concluding on February 22.

Dr. Manal Taryam, CEO of the Noor Dubai Foundation, expressed concern over the approximately 441,000 people in the Philippines still awaiting cataract surgeries. She highlighted the challenges, such as the limited number of ophthalmologists in Samar Island and the high costs associated with cataract surgeries, estimated between $1,000 and $1,700. Considering that the daily average income for residents does not exceed $6, Dr. Taryam emphasized the foundation's commitment to conducting outreach programs, aiming to support the community and enhance accessibility to quality eye care.

Mohammed Obaid Al-Qataam Al-Zaabi extended gratitude to the Philippine government for its excellent cooperation in the program. He underscored the strong friendship ties between the UAE and the Republic of the Philippines, especially in the medical field, expressing appreciation for the Noor Dubai Foundation's significant efforts in sustaining charitable programs.

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