Executive Committee members :
President : Dr. Said Hussein Gedi, MD, Consultant Eye Surgeon
Vice President / General Secretary : Dr. Omar Ismail Mohamed
Treasure / Editor : Dr. Abdirahman Abdullahi Ali Hayle
Contact Person : Dr. Said Hussein Gedi
Upcoming Meetings: The First Annual Congress and Scientific Conference of the Somali Ophthalmological Society will be held in Mogadishu, Somalia from the 5 – 7th of February, 2017.
As a member in COECSA (College of Ophthalmology Eastern, Central and Southern Africa) and MEACO (Middle East, African Council of Ophthalmology), the Somali Ophthalmological Society (SOS) has established due to the increased need of a quality eye care in the country wide (Somalia), and have a very shortage Ophthalmologist less then Ophthalmologist for over 12 million populations. Thus, this shortage has caused a wide spread of preventable and curable blindness in the country, especially among the man power and young aged population. Somali Ophthalmological Society has only 5 Ophthalmologist working in the whole Country; three are based in Mogadishu & working in private clinics and the other two are based in Puntland (Garowe, Galkacyo & Bosaso). Since 1991 after the Civil War, the Government’s infrastructure has collapsed and the absence of National Eye Hospitals, the majority of ophthalmic elites have moved away from the country. We currently have professional ophthalmologists recently trained abroad, mainly from the University of Nairobi and obtained a Master of Medicine in Ophthalmology (MMed Ophthalmology) and after completing our training, we decided to return back to Somalia to serve our people and deliver a high Standard of Eye Health Care in Somalia which compares to the international standard.
In Somalia, we are lacking standard Ophthalmic Equipment like Argon Lasers, especially those patients who suffer from Diabetic Retinopathy especial severe NPDR or PDR whom are in need in Central or PRP are referred abroad like Kenya and Ethiopia and the majority of the patients are unable the cost of the travelling and getting of preventable blindness. We carry out some cataract surgical campaigns in the country in the different regions, but with many challenges, likes the lack of security and fund, thus the majority of patients can’t avoid the cost of operations. We don’t have a National Screening Program of R.O.P in the Country; all pre-term babies developed avoidable blindness.
Somali Ophthalmological Society (SOS) collaboration with Somali Society for the Blind (SSB) visited Al-Nur School for Blind in Mogadishu to grip the situation for blind students in their education and low vision aid available in the school as in Somalia has no single low vision aid clinic or center. This school provides free lifeline education that would otherwise not be possible for children with special needs in Somalia especial in Mogadishu. This school was started in 2005 by Somalis in the Diaspora, touched by the plight of blind children back at home; the 10 year institution has had a mixed school, which boasts a boarding section, presently has 84 students – 27 girls and 57 boys – with the boarding section only open to 30 boys which means the other 54 students are day scholars. They are picked from home and dropped back by the school bus, donated by Hormuud. The school is neat, serene and homely, boasting a fresh coat of paint.
Here, students spruced in their bright uniforms of white and orange tops find their way around effortlessly and are visibly at ease with one another. They walk around without help, a sign that they have mastered their way around, in line with the school’s philosophy of self-reliance. Despite the support of Somali Society for the Blind, the children of the school face myriad of challenges in order to cope up with their daily, social life skills and lack of Trained Vision Aid personnel, we would not achieve our goals. These children require support of low vision specialist, optometrist and as well as an Ophthalmologist and if they don’t get such support then they will face numerous challenges that result in their exclusion from the mainstream of society, making it difficult for them to access their fundamental social, political and economic rights.