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Young Systems Leader: Fatma Shakarchi

Fatma Shakarchi

Organisation: Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, Geneva, Switzerland / Baghdad, Iraq

Role: Regional Representative YAG

Dr. Shakarchi’s impactful contributions to eye care extend across medicine, public health, and advocacy. She has advanced the presence of eye care agenda in prominent global forums, including UNESCO’s Global Forum on the Ethics of AI, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Summit, the UN’s World Space Forum, and WHO’s Antimicrobial Resistance Week. Her contributions have resonated across high-level UN/WHO International Conferences on Space and Global Health, contributing key recommendations for the UN General Assembly Resolution on Space and Global Health and the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

Driven by her commitment to integrating technology into eyecare delivery in resource-limited settings, she has been invited by the European Space Agency (ESA) to facilitate ESA’s first Global Forum on Earth Observations and Health, where she also contributed to the role of satellite monitoring in mitigating climate impacts on eye care and how satellite images contribute to making the invisible visible.

Raised in an ophthalmology household, Dr Shakarchi had a unique lens to the Vision 2020 initiative from an early age feeding her dedication to health equity. She has implemented the systems thinking approach to compile and analyze the data available on vision impairment across the Middle East North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean Region countries. Her work identified actionable insights tailored to each country’s unique context and on a regional level. As an elected regional representative of over 280 million MENA youth to the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and a founding member of the Middle East Global Ophthalmology Taskforce, she fosters cross-sector collaborations to drive impactful change.

She has contributed to numerous ophthalmology educational forums (such as EyeWikis), on global and clinical eyecare; topics included the uses of AI in Ophthalmology, Glaucoma screening in the Developing World, the Ophthalmic Manifestations of Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), and the Environmental Impact on Ocular Health. She has also contributed to health care delivery for over 34 million people affected by conflict globally, based at the International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters in Geneva.

Notably, she served as a Council and Governance Committees member at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), where she earned her Master’s in Public Health for Eye Care from the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH), as a Chevening Scholar. She also holds a medical degree with distinction from the University of Baghdad and a Diploma in Public Policy and Leadership from the American University of Sharjah. She has received multiple international awards and recognitions including from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the US Department of State, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).