UAE Red Crescent team conducts eye surgeries [Archives:2005/896/Local News]

November 21 2005

SANA'A- 17 Nov. 19 – The UAE Red Crescent Society medical team arrived recently in Yemen to conduct eye operations for the population of Socatra Island and take part in the national anti-malaria campaign.

The RCS delegation included a team of eight ophthalmologists who have arrived at the Yemeni Island of Socotra and started, as of Saturday, the examination of 2500 patients. The team also plans to undertake 300 surgeries for patients suffering from most critical eye diseases.

Omar Al Muheiri, Charge d' Affaires at UAE Embassy in Yemen, praised the UAE leadership for dispatching the RCS team to treat people here and combat malaria which kills thousands of people every year in Yemen.

''The UAE has always been in the forefront to extend a helping hand to brothers across the globe,'' he said, adding that the eye care campaign would bring back sight to many almost-blind people while the anti-malaria drive would save thousands of lives from the killer disease.

Dr. Tawfiq Al Khateb, Secretary General of Yemeni Opthalmologists' Society and Coordinator of Socotra campaign, said a Yemeni team of 7 eye surgeons would join the UAE team to carry out the ten-day campaign.

He also indicated that blindness cases in Yemen constitute up to two per cent of the 20 million populations, ''The campaign will continue in cooperation with the Arab Ophthalmology Organization and 5000 operations are expected to be conducted next year,'' he added.

Dr. Jamal Ghailan, Coordinator of the national campaign against malaria, said the drive was launched three days ago and is expected to help combat the fatal disease, which around two million of the population suffers from: ''Infection jumped to 48 per cent at present from 11 per cent in 1998,'' he noted.

The campaign is a part the RCS's program to reduce the number of casualties and death resulting from malaria and to control the spread of blindness in the country while raising health levels there”