The first phase of the Noor Dubai programme, officially launched on Wednesday by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will get underway during the Holy Month of Ramadan with a focus on its ‘therapeutic’ agenda.
The announcement was made by Qadhi Saeed Al Murooshid, Director General of Dubai Health Authority, at a press conference hosted in the Monarch Hotel today.
As part of its ambitious objective of delivering preventive eye care to over one million people worldwide, Noor Dubai features therapeutic, preventive, and education programmes. The three components will jointly seek to treat and prevent blindness and visual impairment in the UAE and developing countries on a regional and international scale.
The therapeutic programme aims to surgically treat patients in Dubai for multiple conditions that cause blindness and low vision. Noor Dubai will soon announce details on its other two components, prevention and education.
Al Murooshid said: ‘Noor Dubai’s comprehensive programmes will collectively ensure that our vision of a world free from preventable forms of blindness can become a reality. Most of these patients would not have had access to these surgeries in their home countries due to limited personal finances, logistical difficulties, or limited resources in their healthcare systems.
‘We are blessed in the Dubai to have first-rate facilities and physicians with the means and ability to offer world class treatment. This is a blessing that the people of Dubai wish to share with those most in need across the globe.’ Noor Dubai is recruiting patients from developing countries with the help of its international partners Lions Clubs International and ORBIS International, and nationally through the Ministries of Health, the Red Crescent, and Red Cross Societies.
In the run up to its official launch, Noor Dubai has already reached out to people from Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine with more expected to be added in the near future. Emiratis and residents of the UAE have also been identified as beneficiaries of the programme.
Al Murooshid added: ‘Today is the beginning of a unique journey that will offer a new dawn to many of the world’s most impoverished people. As envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Noor Dubai is truly a priceless gift that the people of the UAE are pleased to share with the rest of the world.’ Launched on 3 September, Noor Dubai is an international charitable drive, offering a holistic and pragmatic approach to combating illnesses that cause preventable blindness. The programme comes as part of the UAE’s commitment to the goals outlined in the global initiative, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight.
On another level, several organisations have praised the humanitarian initiative launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. In Dubai, the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre described the initiative as an act of ultimate benevolence as it will bring back the light into the eyes of a million unfortunate people.
Director of the Rashid Centre Maryam Othman said that the Holy month of Ramadan saw another kind gesture from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid this year, after he launched the Dubai Cares during the last Ramadan.