Over the years Dr. Soroya Janmohammadcontinue her eye camp initiatives in Kenya and abroad. A camp that she conducted in August 2008 benefited 100 children at Don Bosco Boys Centre, a Nairobi school for street children and orphans.
Dr Soroya Janmohamed never expected her small project to grow into such a significant endeavour. Eighteen years ago, having completed her degree in Ophthalmology at City University. According to the World Health Organization, in 2002 over 160 million people were visually impaired, with more than 90 per cent of them living in developing countries. Many of the causes of visual impairment are preventable, and access to eye health services is an important determining factor in their prevention. Janmohamed, who now calls Dubai home, sustains the clinics by her own means and through the generosity of others. Thousands of Dubai residents have donated funds and optical frames to the effort, while others have volunteered their time and expertise.
Most recently, she organised an eye camp in Syria that was visited by more than 3 500 people from the Hama and Salamieh regions. Many of the patients travelled long distances to access the free clinic. Transportation to the camp was also arranged for 20 children from Salamieh with Down’s syndrome, as part of an effort to increase access to eye care for those with special needs. Ninety-five per cent of the examined patients required glasses due to myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (far sightedness) or presbyopia (diminished ability to focus due to an age-related stiffening of the eye’s lens). However, a majority of older patients suffered from cataracts and required surgery.
The clinic received an outpouring of generous support from the Syrian Jamat as well as the local community and government. Donations of time and logistical support demonstrated a deep-rooted commitment to the initiative. The Syrian Red Crescent even awarded Dr Janmohamed and her Syrian Ismaili colleague, Dr Morhaf Alhamwi, with a Humanitarian Award for their work in championing eye health care.
When Janmohamed is not managing eye camps, she runs a thriving optical practice in Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach area. She also lecturers for the Johnson & Johnson Eye Institute in Dubai and appears on Dubai Eye radio and ARY TV to periodically advise on eye health issues. Janmohamed’s educational efforts extend to the eye camps as well, where she works with caregivers and guardians to ensure that glasses are used properly. Next year, she hopes to return to Syria with additional resources, so that she can reach more of the people living in Salamieh and Hama.
Source: The Ismaili