ABU DHABI // The Noor Dubai Foundation has completed the third of four medical mobile eye camps in Yemen.
The medical team finished screening and treating patients in the district of El-Hodeida, 150 kilometres from the capital Sanaa, yesterday.
The camp will provide sight-saving treatment to patients from all over the country, according to Dr Manal Taryam, Noor Dubai Foundation's chief executive.
"Thousands of patients suffering from vision impairment have been screened and treated at the camp," she said. "Up until [Tuesday] morning, the medical team screened over 6,336 and conducted more than 626 sight saving operations."
The foundation first conducted a camp in January 2009 when 11,000 individuals were treated.
"Yemen is home to over 22 million residents and more than 1 per cent of the population is blind," said Dr Taryam.
"The main cause of visual impairment in Yemen is cataracts. This is normally a disease of the ageing eye but in Yemen, many children are born with congenital cataracts that need to be surgically treated to avoid permanent visual loss."
Glaucoma, an eye disease that damages the optic nerve, is the second most common cause of blindness in Yemen.
Trachoma, an infection that causes scarring of the eyelids and cornea, is also prevalent, with about 20 million people living in endemic areas.
El-Hodeida is the fourth largest district in the country, with a population of 400,000, and one of the poorest, lacking specialised medical facilities and professionals to treat ophthalmic diseases.
The Noor Dubai Foundation is also planning an eye camp in Pakistan this year.