Al Basar International Foundation
|Key people||Adel Al Rushood|
|Area served||Asia and Africa|
|Mission||Blindness Control Program in developing countries|
|Method(s)||Free Eye Camps, Eye Hospitals and Eye Institutes|
Established in 1990 to work in the field of prevention and eradication/controlling of blindness & blinding diseases, Al-Basar International Foundation مؤسسة البصر الخيرية العالمية (executive office in Saudi Arabia) is a non-profitable, non-political, international NGO, registered in many countries. Having its own comprehensive ‘blindness control program’, Al-Basar International is organizing mobile out-reach programs called ‘Al Basar Caravan’ (traditionally known free eye camps) in the needy countries of Africa & Asia having high incidence of eye diseases, some of which can cause blindness, with the facilities of complete schedules of post-operative follow-up. The countries were selected on the basis of empirical studies and statistical information.
The foundation decided to begin establishing specialist hospitals in areas of geographic importance, which suffer from high rates of ophthalmic diseases and act as dispatch points for the eye camps. Equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology, the hospitals have attracted and treated large numbers of patients who could not be treated in the camps. The Foundation has also set up institutes to provide medical and surgical training to physicians and technicians in the field of ophthalmology.
The Foundation dispatches mobile eye camps (Al-Basar caravan) for a period of 7 to 10 days at each location. During this period about 4000-5000 patients are screened, diagnosed and treated, about 400-500 patients undergo eye operations with highest possible standard & Quality Control Surgeries. Most of the cataract-surgeries are done with Intra-ocular Lens implantation with small incision & Phaco-emulsification. In the out-patients more than 1000 pairs of reading glasses are also distributed.
Over the last two decades, the foundation has achieved the following milestones:
- 42 countries in Asia and Africa
- 859 free eye camps
- Over 3.072 million patients examined & treated.
- Over 268,521 operations (mostly with lens implantation cataract surgery)
- Over 730,000 pairs of reading-glasses distributed
The second pillar of Al Basar International Foundation work is focused on the establishment of specialist eye hospitals to provide treatment at door-steps. The hospitals act as training centers for medical staff as well. In addition to this, these hospitals work as centers from which to dispatch the medical teams for eye camps.
The foundation has established a number of hospitals across Asia and Africa.
- Sudan: 7 Hospitals
- Pakistan: 5 Hospitals
- Yemen: 2 Hospitals
- Bangladesh: 2 Hospitals
- Nigeria: 2 Hospitals
- Niger: 2 Hospitals
- Afghanistan: 1 Hospital (abandoned)
Due to the scarcity of qualified technical staff in ophthalmology in third world countries, the Foundation decided to begin setting up technical institutes to train and develop medical staff. These institutes produce highly qualified ophthalmic technicians capable of assisting in both conventional settings such as hospitals as well as in the mobile camps. This requires graduates to deal with large numbers of patients and to set up camps as suitable locations for the provision of distinguished medical care.
The foundation has set up training institutes in Pakistan at Al-Ibrahim Eye Hospital, Karachi by the name of Isra Institute of Ophthalmology and Sudan at Makkah Eye Complex, Khartoum by the name of Makkah Ophthalmic Technical College and is planning further training institutes in Yemen and some African countries.