with him to Najaf in December, along with a healthy amount of supplies and extra equipment.
We continue to supply ophthalmic surgical equipment to surgeons in Najaf. We have also secured donated equipment and shipped it to
Dr A W Al Hakim for distribution.
Needs assessments are sent electronically to Haidar for our research programme.
Research findings from both hospitals named below, show a very high incident of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Haidar and the
trustees therefore decided to concentrate their efforts on raising funds for laser correction units which he could take with him on his trip to
Najaf at the end of the year. In return we negotiated the free treatment for 50 of the charities referrals per month. It is expected to take two
weeks to train the surgeons at the hospitals named in the use of the laser machines.
During Ramadan, Haidar gave two presentations about the work of the Foundation, one to the Islamic Unity Society and the other to the Shia Ithna Ashari community of Middlesex.
Haidar addressing the Islamic Unity Society
Security has been established with the help of the local community, religious leaders and public authorities. The Chairman of the All Eyes
Foundation is now based in southern Iraq for most of the year and undertakes administration and monitoring of our interests.
During his visits, Haidar was able to establish good relationships with some of the local surgeons and the owner of a private clinic in Najaf. He was invited to assist with cataract operations and was able to offer them donations of updated equipment, surgical instruments and supplies such as flexible lenses. These equipment supplies and Haidar’s surgical expertise were offered to the local surgeons in exchange for treating patients referred by our charity, free of charge.
Haidar Al Hakim was invited to assist surgeons at the Al Sadr Teaching Hospital in Najaf and Al-furat al-awsut Hospital in Kufa. He saw approximately 70 patients but due to lack of equipment, particularly, laser machines, he was unable to help 30% of those he saw.
He was able to undertake cataract surgery for 7 non-fee paying patients. Named as follows:
- Hasan musa Mohammad
- Basima musa Mohammad
- Um Mohammed Twaij
- Mohammad Ali
- Um Sadiq Hakim
- Abu Haidar Hadi Jawad
- Jabir Ali Jair
Haidar was able to demonstrate to local surgeons the skills needed to use the latest equipment (such as a Phaco machine for cataract surgery) as well as the benefits of using laser machines for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
Results of the Foundation’s research programme in Najaf which investigated the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in the over 50s were presented at the Nottingham Eye Symposium in January 2007. They were also published on the charity’s website.
In September 2007, Haidar travelled to Stockholm to address the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons.
In October 2007, he spoke about the charity’s work at the Haydari Centre in Streatham, south London.
Haidar addressing the Streatham mosque
Haidar Al Hakim and his father, Wahab Al Hakim spent most of 2006 in Najaf, establishing a network of local health care providers, ophthalmologists and local community leaders.
On returning to the UK the Foundation managed to secure a large donation of medical equipment that was shipped to southern Iraq. The Trustees also agreed to fund new sets of surgical instruments for the ophthalmologists who were continuing on the Foundation’s behalf to voluntarily undertake hospital based surveys for research. Some ophthalmic equipment was leased to the Foundation to facilitate the research programme and skills training.
Working closely with the Dean, Dr Al-Hakim updated and improved the ophthalmic curriculum for students at the local University School of Medicine in time for the examinations in June ’06.
Several research projects were started in Najaf which highlighted the lack of ophthalmic services in the governance. A population based survey into the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment in the over 50′s in Najaf was undertaken at the Al Furat hospital. The study focused on the following areas:
- Prevalence of refractive error in school children within the governance
- Incidence of myopia in school children
- Audit of ocular trauma causes and consequences in the governance of Al-Najaf
26 cases of eye trauma were followed up.
In September 2006 Haidar gave a presentation on ophthalmic services in southern Iraq at the Royal Free Hospital during a North Thames
Regional Study Day