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Direct Aid’s programmatic focuses lie in education, social and economic development, and water and health.
Direct Aid (DA) is an international humanitarian organization and member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It was founded over 40 years ago by Dr. Abdulrahman Al Sumait with the vision of helping the most vulnerable in Africa on the short and long term. Through its many development projects and emergency response activities, Direct Aid thrives to ensure that aid is sustainable and tailored to needs of all members of society. It aspires not only to help others, but rather, empower them to generate their own income, become self-dependent, and rely on their full potential to attain a decent livelihood. It has carried out its activities in over 30 African countries, including Sudan, Somalia, the Central African Republic, Malawi, and Yemen.
(DA) has expanded its health program to combat blindness in Africa, and it joined the Alliance to Fight Avoidable Blindness(AFAB) in 2018 which is led by the Islamic development bank (IsDB) and Islamic Solidarity fund for Development (ISFD). Direct Aid has taken quick action, for example, Niger revealed an alarming situation with 495,000 cases of blindness, and (DA) so far was able to deal with 130,000 cases in Niger alone.
The (DA) program implements the (AFAB) strategy which focuses on :
In this respect, Direct Aid has been actively conducting cataract surgeries in Africa and Yemen since 2010, in addition to training local teams on eye health and related surgeries, thus building the capacity of ophthalmologists and equipping hospitals and clinics. Its programs aim to bridge a wide gap in the field of eye health and related procedures in Africa and prevent blindness to enable a better life for everyone. To date, Direct Aid has established ‘eye camps’ in 28 countries in Africa, including Yemen, where the (DA) team also distributed thousands of eyeglasses to the needy, as well as implanted thousands of lenses in medical procedures.
The number of implemented programs amounted to 396, serving 1,404,705 beneficiaries, with a cost of 14,695,755 $. The total ophthalmic surgeries amounted to 330,466 operations as of January 2022, while the annual budget for eye camps only amounts to 4,370,000 $.
Furthermore, Direct Aid has established three specialist eye hospitals in Chad and Niger (Mekka, Maradi and Arafa Hospitals), and by running the eye hospital in Chad, the Organization aims to increase cataract surgeries from 30 thousand to 33 thousand by 2024. It also launched the school eye screening project to provide preventive medications and it plans to increase consultations for students and orphans to reach 90% by 2024. These activities take place through active partnerships with specialized technical partners, currently 12 partners, providing highest quality service and transferring up-to-date surgical skills to local ophthalmic teams.
The specific objectives of the ‘eye camps’ are:
– Fighting blindness and enabling eye care
– Ensuring quality of life to All within the global sustainable development goals.
– Contributing to WHO’s eye care strategy.
– Supporting national strategies of fighting eye diseases.
– Providing assistance and free medical supplies to vulnerable persons of all classes.
– Raising the health standards in the region especially within the field of eye care and blindness prevention, by Surgical skills transfer to a local ophthalmologist.
– Raising the awareness of the camp residents.