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Free cataract surgery camp in Mogadishu brings hope to hundreds

Islamabad, 12 March, 2024 (GNP): A ten-day free cataract surgery camp, jointly organized by COMSTECH, Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital Rawalpindi, and Al-Nur Foundation (Somalia), concluded with a successful outcome, restoring vision to hundreds in Somalia.

The camp, held at Dalmar Specialized and Teaching Hospital in Mogadishu, aimed to eliminate avoidable blindness in the country.

Over 5,632 patients were screened, with 550 identified for cataract surgery. A total of 401 surgeries were performed successfully by expert ophthalmologists from Al-Shifa Trust.

The initiative received high praise from Somali dignitaries. Senator Prof. Osman Dufle, Chairman of the Social Affairs Committee at the Somali Parliament, and former ministers commended the efforts of COMSTECH and Al-Shifa Trust. Prof. M.M. Hassan Bidey, Rector of Benadir University, expressed a desire for continued collaboration.

The surgeries were conducted following strict WHO protocols, ensuring patient safety and quality care. Patients received post-operative monitoring and guidance on medication use.

Additionally, the team met with Hamza Adan Haadoow, Permanent Secretary of the Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss future endeavors.

The camp extended its reach to remote communities, with a dedicated day for patients from an island near Mogadishu.

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Seven congenital cataract surgeries were also performed, highlighting the camp’s commitment to addressing all forms of vision impairment.

The success of the camp paves the way for future collaborations. Discussions are underway to organize similar initiatives in Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, and Somalia.

Prof. Dr. M. Iqbal Choudhary, Coordinator General of COMSTECH said that this camp has helped eliminating avoidable blindness from Somalia.

Prof. Choudhary extended his gratitude to the President of Al-Shifa Eye Trust, Maj. Gen. Rehmat Khan (R) for his vision and support in organizing this eye camp and hoped for further such collaborations for eye camps in African member states.

The efforts of COMSTECH and Al-Shifa Trust to eliminate avoidable blindness in Somalia cannot be forgotten,” stated Hamza Adan Haadoow, Permanent Secretary of the Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs.