A team of 16 ophthalmology and health science professionals undertook a humanitarian trip to Mauritania to improve the visual health of the population of Nouadhibou. A solidarity initiative framed within the 14th expedition of the ‘Project Nouadhibou Vision’ of the Jorge Alió Foundation for the Prevention of Blindness. A total of 830 patients were treated free of charge for seven days, 130 of whom required surgery in the three operating theatre zones that were open simultaneously. Patients with very complex cases were treated at Nouadhibou Hospital, the largest ophthalmological center in Mauritania and Saharan Africa. Of these, 84 had to be intervened for cataracts with phacoemulsification technique, 41 for extracapsular cataracts and 5 for pterygium.
In an altruistic way, five ophthalmic surgeons, five nurses, three optician-optometrists, one maintenance technician, a logistics volunteer and a person responsible for the organisation and institutional representation, carried out all their solidarity and professionalism with the aim of serving the most disadvantaged groups from the Mauritanian city and its peripheral neighborhoods. The delegation, led by María López Iglesias, president of the Jorge Alió Foundation, and Mr. Salah Edine Bechir, manager of the Nouadhibou Vision’ center also donated new medical and hospital equipment valued at €145,000.
In addition, several local authorities such as Mohamed Ould Ahmed Salem Ould Mohamed Raré, Governor of the Dakhlet Nouadhibou Region, and Hemida Souyeh, Vice-president of the Nouadhibou Regional Council, came with Salah Edine Bechir -Director of the center ‘Nouadhibou Vision Foundation Jorge Alió’- to see the development of the project, and to congratulate the entire team for the humanitarian and altruistic work that was being done.
The ‘Nouadhibou Vision Project’ for International Cooperation was created in 2007 with the mission of building the first ophthalmological hospital in Mauritania. It is an initiative of the Jorge Alió Foundation, chaired by María López Iglesias, and whose honorary president is Doctor Jorge Alió, Professor of Ophthalmology at the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) in Elche. Both are the responsible figures for promoting this project, which seeks to respond to the lack of medical services, and in particular specialized medicine, such as ophthalmology, in the area.
With this new expedition, the objectives of this project continue to be pursued, thanks to the support of important entities involved in this solidarity action. To learn more about the ‘Nouadhibou Vision’ Project’ for International Cooperation in Mauritania, please visit this site.