Eye Health Hero: Dr. Rubina Gillani
World-leading Australian NGO, The Fred Hollows Foundation (FHF) has nominated its Country Manager for Pakistan, Dr Rubina Gillani, as FHF’s Eye Health Hero.
Dr Gillani is a medical doctor and public health specialist. Her role as Country Manager, which she started in 1998, means there is a lot of managerial work to do but Dr Gillani still sees herself as a ‘field worker’.
Dr Gillani spends half of her time in the office and the other half travelling extensively throughout Pakistan. Often she needs to travel up to twelve hours to get to a remote community. During this time she does most of her observing; of women and children and of the poverty apparent throughout the country.
“Reaching the population of Pakistan is not easy,” says Dr Gillani.”It is also very hard to change attitudes. The Foundation has come out with a multi-pronged approach. We have trained the doctors, held eye clinics, used accredited facilities and introduced quality into the recipients’ perspective… That has been challenging.”
Dr Gillani is crucial to The Fred Hollows Foundation’s programme in Pakistan. Without her determination, strength, knowledge and ability to ‘get the job done’, the success of FHF’s work so far would not have been possible.
“Besides doing my job working towards reducing cataract blindness rates, I feel that in a country like Pakistan where it is very different and conservative, I am also working towards the cause of women,” says Dr Gillani.
All IAPB member organisations are encouraged to sponsor their eye health hero to attend the 9GA. At the 9GA, heroes will have the opportunity to meet the world’s leading thinkers in prevention of blindness, to survey the systems at L V Prasad Eye Institute, and even participate in one of the ceremonies or gala events.
Help us highlight the many small everyday miracles that make VISION 2020’s goals possible; nominate your hero now!