x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Project helps 5.5m vision-impaired

Noor Dubai, a charity that funds the treatment and prevention of blindness and poor vision in developing countries.

Noor Dubai, a charity that funds the treatment and prevention of blindness and poor vision in developing countries, has far exceeded its expectations by helping more than five million people since it was created last year, officials say. Launched last September 1, the project's original target was to provide health care and medical services for one million people. But at the end of the year-long campaign, almost 5.5m people, many in African countries, have benefited, according to figures released yesterday.

The state news agency, WAM, reported that the initiative was being turned into a permanent foundation, with support from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. "We have been able to help ... millions of people return to their normal lives after a disability that hindered them," Qadhi al Murooshid, director general of the Dubai Health Authority and the chief executive of Noor Dubai, said in a press release.

"We were able to help disabled children who were unable to go to their schools to return to their studies, and through this project the elderly patients have been able to take up a job and earn a livelihood." Medical camps were organised around the world, with a major focus on Africa, where 37 million people suffer from river blindness. mkwong@thenational.ae