A Brief Report of FIMA Save Vision Mission to Gaza

On 19th February a delegation of four members  reached Cairo, Egypt via Doha. The members of this delegation were,

1.       Dr Imran Akram Sahaf, an oculoplastic Surgeon, working as professor of ophthalmology at King Edward Medical University Lahore and President Oculoplastic Association of Pakistan.

2.       Dr Imran Ghayoor, a vitreoretinal Surgeon working  as professor of ophthalmology at Liaqat National Medical College Karachi.

3.       Dr Intzar Hussain working as Associate Professor of ophthalmology at Services Institute of Medical Sciences Lahore.

4.       Akhtar Abbas, Journalist and editor of 52 yrs old Urdu Digest Pakistan.

The main objective of this delegation was training of ophthalmologists of Gaza and to provide them with accessories and consumabls so that they may improve the quality of their ophthalmic Services.

On 21st February  we went to Rapha Border to enter Palestine but did not succeed in crossing the border due to non-availability of Intelligence clearance report from Egyptian Government. So we waited for 3 days more in Cairo to get this clearance report issued by Egyptian Govt.

On 25th February we entered Gaza through Rapha border and were warmly welcomed by Palestinian authority. In the afternoon we had lunch with Director Health, Dr. Mohammad Al Kashif along with other ophthalmologists. It was a first interaction with ophthalmic community of Gaza.

We stayed there at Gaza hotel which is located on Mediterranean Sea. At the back of hotel there were lot of fishing boats for local people but they were not allowed for fishing more than 3 kilometers. We took rest in the hotel for 2-3 hours after this small get together with ophthalmologists. At 7 pm we decided to visit Gaza eye hospital. There we had a meeting with Director General, Gaza eye hospital Abdul Salam Saba and other eye surgeons of the hospital; The team visited the hospital & had information about its working. It is 40 beded and 200 – 250 patients visit the hospital daily.  Hospital needs Argon laser & visual field machine. All other machinery is present there but accessories are not available. They basically need training & especially super speciality training of ophthalmology. This hospital is the only eye hospital of Gaza. After visiting the hospital we  had a meeting with ophthalmologists  to plan the training schedule of coming days and it was planned.

1.       Examining patients & discussion with local ophthalmologist

2.       Multimedia presentation & interactive session.

3.       Hands on surgical training in OT

Two training workshops were also arranged. One  was on occuloplasty and the other on vitreoratina. These workshops were arranged at Gaza eye hospital, Urva General Hospital in Khan Younis City and Eye specialist Hospital.

On 26th February we had a meeting with Director General International Co-operation Department Dr. Muhammad Al-Kashif in his office at Ministry of Health. He warmly welcomed us in his office.A memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ministry of Health (MOH) Gaza & FIMA through FIMA Save Vision (See MOU attachment  for detail)

We decided in this meeting that Gaza eye hospital will be provided with Argon laser machine immediately and  will try  to arrange funds also for visual field machine  by FIMA Save Vision to upgrade the eye care facilities in Gaza .Dr. Muhammad Al Kashif expressing his views about FSV said that “ I am honored to be a part of FSV inside as well as outside Gaza”

We also had a meeting with health Minister Dr. Mufeed who welcomed our delegation & requested FSV for future co-operation for the training of ophthalmologist and transfer of  knowledge and skills to them.

At Gaza we also met director Palestine Media Center, Salam Masroof. He told us about the circumstances of Gaza and the actions of Hammas Govt. for the people of Gaza. He informed us about the Islamic training of people, low rate of crime resulting in very few people residing in Jails. There are four daily newspapers, three weekly newspapers and three T.V channels working over there. The area of Gaza is 40 Km in length and 6-12 km in width with a population of 1.8 millions.

After that we had a meeting with Dr. Hassan Abu Asheesh, Chief Editor of Leading Palestine newspaper. He told us about the crisis of War time and different hardships which they had to face in performing their duty at that time. In this meeting he said “we are pleased to see FSV and you Pakistanis here. We are very grateful that you are working here for our people,we are not fighting for Palestine only but for the whole Muslim Ummah and in these attacks on Gaza a number of journalists also died”

Another meeting was with G.M of Al Kitab Channel. All youngsters are working in this channel. The fame of this channel is progressing day by day. Social aspects, education and culture are mainly focused in the programmes  of this channel. Anchors, G.M and all other faculty members are  youngsters.

Then we went to Sheikh Rizwan Graveyard and offered fatiha at the shrine of Shiekh Ahmed Yasin & other martyrs. We also met students of 4th years MBBS of Al Azhar University and we had a very good interaction with them. They also wrote their messages for Pakistani Medical students on a page which depicted their love and affection for them. They said that they are thankful to FSV & Pakistan for co-operation.

In the evening we visited Shifa Hospital Gaza and then had a meeting with doctors at specialist eye hospital Gaza. During our visits to various hospitals we distributed candies among the children in Opd and wards  in the hospital. These candies were purchased specially for them from Doha Duty Free Shop.

On 27th February we had a meeting with Minister Health along with Dr. Moosa Mohammad Noorudin, chairperson VIVA Phalestina Malasia. In this meeting Health Minister was given briefing about FSV by Dr. Moosa Mohammad Noorudin.

After that we visited football stadium which was bombarded during last attack. We met President Palestinian Legislative Assembly Dr. Ahmed Bahr along with other Parlementarians, in his office. He thanked FSV and said “we are thankful to you and we have got much encouragement from your  kindful act. Hope you will continue doing your efforts in future also for the betterment of the people of Palestine.

We also visited Islamic University Gaza and had a meeting with the President Dr. Kamline Kamil Shaat in his office. He told us about different stages of tentage, Barricks through which university progressed to present form. The building of the university was a masterpiece . There are 70 departments  and 22000 students.

There we came to know about the “will Project” introduced by the University in  collaboration with the Turkish Govt. It was for those people who became disabled or blind in bomb attacks. “Will Project” is basically a one year training program of handicrafts and other arts. Its purpose is to make such people useful citizens of the society.After one year training,job for the same duration is also granted. This project is very successful in financial rehabilitation of such people.

Then we visited Urva General hospital at Khan youas . In Gaza the Prime Minister Ismaeel Hanea inaugurated a newly built mosque after Juma seremon and also welcomed & thanked delegation of FSV.

On 27th we decided to go back to Egypt as I had to attend FIMA executive committee meeting in Cairo. But when we went to cross the border we were told that Egyptian Government was only allowing people going for Umrah to cross the border on that day  so we had to stay at Gaza, we continued our work there and at night we attended emergency of the hospital,our doctors kept on providing their services in the emergency  till midnight

On 28th February we crossed the border but it took a lot of time and we reached Cairo at night and could not attend the meeting of FIMA executive committee.

On 29th February we attended Arab region conference at FIMA Islamic hospital consortium. After that we had a meeting with Dr. Hannan Ch, WHO EMRO regional director of ophthalmology. In this meeting we had an agreement on starting Diploma and Master training program for local doctors in Somaliland. In the afternoon we had lunch with Dr. Mustafa Hackel, Professor of ophthalmology in Cairo. We also had a good interaction with Pakistani Ambassador in Cairo and told him briefly about FSV training program in Gaza which was appreciated by him.

On 2nd march we met Dr. Muhammad Izzat at Muslim Brotherhood Headquarter. After that we saw Dr. Tahir Meer, Regional Director for polio eradication EMRO region at  lunch at his residence. While having lunch we talked with him regarding polio eradication.

On 3rd march we went to Doha. There we had lunch with Pakistan business community. In this meeting the presentation on FSV was delivered and brief information regarding FSV Gaza mission and POB Trust was given.

In the evening a program in collaboration with Pakistan welfare forum and Ahbab Club members was arranged at Pakistani embassy Doha. I delivered a presentation on FSV, while Dr. Imran Akram Sahaf on preventive measures regarding eye diseases and eye care and Akhtar Abbas on Gaza.

At night we had a dinner with vice president of Pak Welfare forum at zaoq restaurant.

Next morning on 4th March we visited Pak Shamma Secondary School. Two presentations were delivered there on FSV that were well appreciated by teachers and children. We had a brief meeting with local ophthalmologists of Qatar at Hamad Hospital at Doha and invited them to join FIMA save vision and offered super specialty training program to the ophthalmologists of Qatar by FIMA Save Vision and free eye camps for the poor community as well in collaboration of Hamad Hospital. In Doha different local newspapers had interview of FIMA Save Vision team which were published in these newspapers prominently.

It was all about our visit to Palestine & FSV mission to Gaza.


MOU between FIMA Save Vision & Ministry of Health Gaza


Dr Intzar Hussain
FIMA Save Vision
+92 321 4488 124

Last modified on Sunday, 31 March 2013 18:23
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