Working visit for Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness (AFAB) (19 – 20 July 2018, Ankara)

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The initiative led by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISDF) to fight avoidable blindness in various countries of the Islamic World is becoming even more comprehensive with the contributions of the Turkish Ministry of Health.

Without remaining insensitive to the health problems of the Islamic geography and trying to help all oppressed geographies, the Turkish Ministry of Health took on the leadership of the thematic area ‘Health Systems Strengthening’ and keeps working in this area. Ministry of Health of the Republic of Turkey intensifies her activities in such areas as emergency health services, infection control and intensive care trainings, exchange of knowledge and experience, and has taken action, once again, under the Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness to improve the lives of people with a small touch.

During the first generation of the Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness (AFAB) between 2008 and 2015, 50.000 cataract operations were performed in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Djibouti, Guinea, Mai and Niger.

During the second generation of the project between 2018 and 2022, Turkey took an initiative under the leadership of Deputy Health Minister Prof. Dr. Eyüp Gümüş and guided development of the project to cover more countries and more people.

Within the framework of AFAB covering 12 Muslim countries in Africa (Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gina Bissau, Mauritania, Mali, Mozambique, Comoros, Niger and Togo), non-governmental organizations, charity organizations and means of the Ministry of Turkey will be deployed in order to carry out cataract operations and provide free eyeglasses with the financing support of the Islamic Development Bank.

The project also includes training of 100 healthcare professionals per year at the affiliated hospitals of the Turkish Ministry of Health.

In order to clarify the roadmap of the project and start the concrete activities, a delegation of IDB and ISFD visited Turkey on 19-20 July 2018 and held technical meetings with the representatives of the Ministry of Health, public organizations and non-governmental organizations.

The opening meetings were held at SESRIC headquarter on 19 July. The inaugural speeches were delivered by IDB Regional Director Saleh Jelassi, SESRIC Director-General Ambassador Musa Kulaklıkaya and Director-General of EU and Foreign Affairs Dr. Selami Kılıç. In order constitute a legal basis for the project, a protocol will be signed between the Ministry of Health and non-governmental organizations.  

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