“Official Launch of the Second Generation of Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness” led by the Islamic Development Bank and Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development was held in Tunisia on 2 April 2018 with the participation of Prof. Dr. Eyüp Gümüş, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey.
Aiming to provide healthcare services free of charge for the people who have vision impairment or poor vision due to cataract in the Islamic world, especially in Africa, the Project achieved 50 thousands cataract operations during the first generation.
Within the framework of the preparation procedures, a coordination meeting was organized in Istanbul on 19 March 2018 and Prof. Dr. Eyüp Gümüş, who attended the meeting on behalf of the Ministry, stated that the target of 100 thousands cataract operations would be increased to 1 million with the contributions of Turkey.
During the preparatory meetings, IDB, ISFD and Turkish Ministry of Health reached an agreement on the announcement of the new target at the official launch of 2 April.
The official launch was held during the 43rd Annual Meeting of IDB in Tunisia and the previously set target of 100.000 cataract operations within 5 years was revised and increased to 1.5 million operations with the leadership of Prof. Dr. Eyüp Gümüş.
For this purpose, an automation system will be established in Turkey, namely “Health in Africa”, in order to analyze the infrastructure in target countries, plan the relevant activities and ensure coordination throughout the Project.
Furthermore, provision of 10 million glasses for the children and training of the physician candidates in the medical schools of Turkey or training of healthcare professionals for the cataract operations were discussed.
During the official launch, Prof. Dr. Eyüp Gümüş also signed a Declaration affirming the support of Turkey throughout the Project. In his statement, Prof. Dr. Gümüş underlined importance of the involvement and contributions of Turkey and Health Ministries of other Islamic countries and non-governmental organizations to reach the targeted results.
Prof. Dr. Eyüp Gümüş also had the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings during the Tunisia visit. Details of the project and leadership of Turkey under this project were discussed with Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed Hajjar, President of ISFD.
During the bilateral meeting held with the Health Minister of Tunisia Imed Hammami, opinions were exchanged to further develop the cooperation between two countries in the field of health.