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Vision Excellence Awards: Babar Qureshi

Babar Qureshi

Dr Muhammad Babar Qureshi is one of the inspiring individuals whose vision, drive, commitment and quality of work contributed to the successful outcomes and continued learnings from the V2020 and GAP agenda.

Being born Pakistan, his family moved to Nigeria where Babar Qureshi received all his schooling and where he graduated as a medical doctor. He did his residency in ophthalmology in Nigeria and Austria, followed by his master’s in Community Eye Health in London. He then worked as an ophthalmologist in Nigeria for eight years and moved to Pakistan. In Pakistan, he was the secretary of the National Committee for Prevention of Blindness, the secretary of the National Trachoma Task Force and the director of Academics and Research for the Pakistan Institute of Community Ophthalmology for 10 years. He then moved on to be the executive director of Comprehensive Health and Education Forum International in Pakistan for seven years. Having been the medical advisor for CBM since 1997, he currently is the CBM Director of Inclusive Eye Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases. In addition, he is chairman of the “Training Eye Care Teams to Meet Public Needs” group of the International Council of Ophthalmologists”, as well as of the IAPB Human Resource Working Group, the EMR Alliance for Trachoma Control and the Trachoma Expert Committee. He also is co-chair of IAPB-EMR . Last not least, he was an external examiner to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and belongs to the editorial board of the Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology and the Journal of Community Eye Health London.

During his time in Pakistan, he supported the development of a master’s in Community Eye Health course, the Allied Ophthalmic Personnel course, the District Eye Care program, and the development of national eye care programs in 18 countries of the east Mediterranean region. He pioneered many inclusive health and education initiatives and was actively involved with the National Trachoma Rapid Assessment in Pakistan and the National Blindness survey in Pakistan. Today, his thrive to build quality, affordable eye health series for all extends to many low- and middle-income countries worldwide. He is the mastermind behind the CBM Inclusive Eye Health Initiative which seeks to strengthen national eye health systems, to improve access to inclusive, comprehensive eye care services including neglected tropical diseases, especially Trachoma and Onchocerciasis.

He has supervised more than 50 students in their master’s dissertations in Community Eye Health and has more than 20 publications. He has received many awards nationally and internationally for meritorious services in the prevention of blindness, including the Prince Abdulaziz Bin Ahmed Al Saud Award and the Noval Christy award.

Finally Dr Qureshi was a part of the development of VISION 2020 Global launch and then the regional launch and also supported the launches in the East Mediterranean region. He has led the development of the National VISION 2020 plans in the region and then the Global action plans in the region. Dr Qureshi spearheaded the Trachoma elimination programme in the East Mediterranean region. He has made National, Regional and Global impact in eye health.