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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 129-135

Outcomes of cataract surgeries over 16 years in camps held by Al Basar International Foundation in 38 underdeveloped countries

Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicines, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Adel A Rushood
P. O. Box - 40030, Al-Khobar - 31952
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.80701

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Purpose : To evaluate the outcomes of 16 years of eye campaigns in 38 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East Materials and Methods : A descriptive, retrospective study using the Al-Basar International Foundation (BIF) records. BIF is a non-governmental, non-religious philanthropic organization working in the field of the prevention of blindness since 1989. Having its base in Saudi Arabia and working mainly in Asia and Africa. Study variables included the causes of diminished vision, outcomes of eye surgeries, number of camps, patients assessed, surgeries performed, intraocular lenses (IOLs) implanted, spectacles distributed, general outcomes of campaigns, and other variables. Results : Between the periods of November 1989 and June 2006, BIF conducted 620 eye camps. These camps were conducted by ophthalmologists with expertise of working in eye camps with limited resources and harsh environmental conditions. Over two million people were examined and/or treated, and 186, 765 surgeries were performed. Nearly 100,000 IOLs were implanted and more than 140,000 spectacles were prescribed and distributed. The majority of these activities (74%) took place in Asia and the Middle East. The best corrected visual acuity achieved (BCVA) was ranked good (6/6 -6/18) in 59% of patients and borderline (BCVA 6/18 - 6/60) in 35% and poor (BCVA <6/60) in less than 6% of patients based on World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Conclusion : Quality assured eye campaigns held by BIF helped the most needy countries and people. Intensive volunteer cataract programs and surgeries such as those provided by the BIF add significant support to the efforts of the WHO and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in fighting blindness.

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