|Posted on:||Wednesday, 20th September, 2017|
Congratulations to Dr Redentor Rabino from the Philippines and Professor Dr Asad Aslam Khan from Pakistan, who have been honoured as “Eye Health Heroes” by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
The Eye Health Heroes initiative recognizes and celebrates frontline staff whose work in the field and engagement with the community makes a real difference in restoring sight. This year the 15 Heroes were all from the South East Asia Region and were announced at the IAPB Council of Members on Monday 18th September in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Professor Dr Asad Aslam Khan is National Coordinator for the National Blindness Control Programme in Pakistan and Principal of long-term CBM partner the College of Opthalmology and Allied Vision Sciences (COAVS). He has worked closely with CBM, along with other NGOs, to develop and deliver inclusive eye-health programmes that reach all those at risk of blindness, including the poorest and most marginalised. Most recently, he has been involved in launching a new CBM-supported project to eliminate trachoma in several districts.
Sight-saving eye care for Philippines poorest
Dr Rabino is an ophthalmologist at the CBM-supported Cataract Foundation in the Philippines. Since 1993, he has been one of the pioneer doctors under a government-led programme that deploys specialists to support marginalized populations in the Philippines. Dr. Rabino works in a remote, rural and impoverished province in Southern Philippines and also serves in places like Marawi and Sulu that are hazardous because of long-standing armed conflict and terrorism. Thanks to his specialist training and advanced skills, he is able to carry out a large number of high quality, sight-saving eye surgeries at low cost to patients coming from poor communities, who could not otherwise afford them. During an outreach programme in Masbate, he performed 90 eye surgeries in one day. He also takes time to educate patients in caring for their eyes and their overall health during outreach activities.
“If there is commitment in what you do, there is joy. My passion is to give sight back to the poor and give them a second chance in life. It gives me happiness and encouragement beyond what money can offer. There were times when I feared for my life but all of it goes away whenever I arrive in communities and see the patients whose lives will change with only just a few minutes of operation,” says Dr. Rabino.
For more information about the Eye Health Hero 2017 nominees, visit https://www.iapb.org/eye-health-heroes/eye-health-heroes-2017/
Image: Dr Rabino with patients in the Philippines during an outreach programme.