x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

UAE works on healthcare system for visually impaired and disabled

The UAE is developing an integrated healthcare system to take care of and support visually impaired and disabled citizens.

ABU DHABI // The UAE is developing an integrated healthcare system to take care of and support visually impaired and disabled citizens.

The announcement was made today by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, at a GCC forum on blindness.

“We can’t stand hand-tied ... we should work together for developing sustained action plans that deliver long-term objectives,” Sheikh Nahyan said at the Avoiding Blindness meeting, the state news agency Wam reported.

More than 200 experts attended the meeting.

Sheikh Nahyan also spoke about the need to build national health, medical and community capacities around the world to combat blindness.

Other speakers addressed the issue of avoidable blindness in the developed world, the importance of early intervention and the roles of the GCC member states in helping affected people in poor countries.

Several initiatives were launched, all of which will help people with vision issues, Wam reported.

The Dubai Charity Society donated Dh200,000 for projects, while the Saudi Islamic Relief Agency pledged to treat 2,000 patients in Africa next year.

The forum was organised by Sightsavers Middle East, a branch of the international organisation that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness in some of the world’s poorer countries, of which Sheikh Nahyan is the president.

newsdesk@thenational.ae