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Key Achievements 2019 At a Glance 


Eighteen years of tireless and expert dedication – Dr.Nabila

Above, our consultant ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Nabila Al-Radi.

Over the past eighteen years, Dr.Nabila, a founder member of Women’s Education Partnership has examined and treated more than 29,000 patients throughout greater Khartoum for us, as well as several thousands in our Nuba Mountains outreach programme.* 


Good vision and literacy go hand in hand. 

Many of the women and young girls who attend our literacy circles suffer from undiagnosed eye conditions. Our literacy workers refer attendees at need to our eye programme for diagnosis and treatment, as do our colleagues responsible for our elementary school support programme.  Learn more here:

Elementary Schools Support  

See Nothing About Us Without Us for our commitment to our stakeholders with disabilities.


Please consider giving to our life-changing work. Just click on the link below to donate quickly and securely:

 Virgin Money Giving

Our Eye Care Project – Key Achievements At a Glance in 2019 – The Context 

Setting the Scene 


 Goals of our programme.

“If you would like to help somebody, you must feel what he is suffering…….We are working as one family. – Dr.Nabila


Sudan has no systematic schools eye screening programme and many eye conditions go undiagnosed for many years.   Our sponsored elementary schools and literacy circles lie within areas with the highest incidences of preventable and treatable eye diseases in Khartoum, such as Umbadda, Karari and Jebel Awlia. (See more below in Context).


Our Khartoum Programme Activities 2019.

“We are telling them that we came for you in your place, instead of your coming to us. This is the first message.  The second message that we are not superior to them – we are just coming to help or if they are in need of something for us to do for them.  – Dr.Nabila 

Learn more about the remarkable Dr. Nabila in this short video:

Dr.Nabila Al-Radi has been a consultant ophthalmologist in Khartoum since 1985, after graduating from the faculty of Medicine of Alexandria University in 1979, and later receiving her Master’s in Ophthalmology from Khartoum University.  Among her specialisms is the treatment of orbital tumours. She lectures and supervises research at Khartoum University.  Despite her heavy workload, she dedicates what little extra time she has to our eye care program.  


Our Eye Care Project – Key Achievements At a Glance in 2019 – The Context 

Our Eye Care Project – 6 Key Achievements At a Glance in 2019 

2019 was a challenging year for our eye care programme, with substantial political instability, high inflation and economic volatility impacting the number of outreaches and operations we were able to deliver.  Despite these and many other, logistical problems, we were able to fulfill our eye care mission, thanks to the dedication and determination of  Dr. Nabila and our country director, Mrs Neimat Issha, together with their staff and volunteers.  



Last year, we carried out 33 eye care outreaches in some of the poorest and inaccessible communities of Khartoum.  

While patients waited for their outreach consultation with the doctor, they  participated in lectures (below) in prevention of eye diseases and hygiene organized by our staff.


These lectures are vital as mothers who have never had the opportunity to learn how hygiene measures can protect their vision come away armed with knowledge to protect their families. 



Last year, 3057 patients were seen by our ophthalmologist and her team. Many of our patients have no access to eye care in their communities and cannot afford to pay for treatment. 



We distributed 1397 eye glasses. Something so simple but which has such a profoundly positive impact on women and girls education.  

“Women are really in need of this eye care because if a woman couldn’t see, so she cannot move in her house, she cannot teach her children so it’s a completely broken family when the woman has eye problems” – Dr.Nabila



Last  year we prescribed low cost or free medicines to 1832 patients. Most eye conditions can be controlled or cured if treated early. 



Despite rising costs of medicines and operations, we were able to carry out eight cataract operations.  

Cataracts are the major cause of blindness in Africa. Childhood cataracts, caused by genetic and environmental factors, can rob children of their educational potential. Many families cannot afford or do not know about surgery. Many states in Sudan have no eye hospitals and so treatment opportunities are largely restricted to the capital.  Cataracts often coexist with other eye conditions and it is believed that Sudans dry, intensely sunny and dusty climate contributes to the high incidence of cataracts. 

See DabangaSudan February 2020s article – Cataract blindness on the rise


Zahra’s Story 

Zahra is one of many women we helped in 2019.  Read her story  from last yearreport:


Learn more about Dr.Nabila’s recent work in the field in this short video:

The Context – Eye Disease and Treatment in Sudan 

It is estimated that there are between 225,000 and half a million blind people in Sudan and that one out of a thousand children in Sudan is blind.

Common eye conditions include cataracts, glaucoma, river blindness – “the neglected disease of forgotten people”, various forms of conjunctivitis and corneal scarring, the latter often related to vitamin A deficiency. Most of these conditions are preventable or treatable if screened early. Yet, poverty and the inaccessibility of some communities means around 40% of sufferers have no access to treatment.   90% of our literacy participants have fled conflict and deprivation in Darfur and Nuba Mountains and often come with pre-existing untreated conditions contracted in their homelands where health services are even sparser than in the capital. 


Dr.Nabila examining a young patient 

While Sudan is training and recruiting ever more ophthalmologists, health services and infrastructure remain inadequate.   Often faced with few sustainable livelihood opportunities, many Sudanese find it impossible to pay for health care when available and are unaware of hygiene measures that can protect their vision.  Again, so many of these conditions are a tragic result of poverty.   In Khartoum, the three areas with highest pathology  were found to be among the poorest; Karary, Umbadda and Jebel Aulia. We deliver literacy and eye care in all these areas.

Incidence of trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness and an agonizingly painful condition, is low in Khartoum and yet over 86 % of cases among children are found to be in  Umbadda  district where transport services are poor and poverty is widespread. (WHO report, see link below).


Lack of clean water, poor sanitation and exposure to fly infestations, coupled with  lack of hygiene awareness all elevate the risk of contracting trachoma, which in its advanced form, trichiasis, can cure blindness.

Trachoma is one of Neglected tropical Diseases (such as AIDS, TB and malaria), that the Global Trachoma Mapping Project – “The largest infectious disease survey in history” aims to eliminate by 2020. (SightSavers) 

Recent research found that one third of children in Khartoum suffering from vernal keratoconjunctivitis were from Jebel Aulia. Very poor and densely populated, its schools often have a hundred pupils per class. 

See Celebrating and Literacy Circles in Action for photos and more background on Jebel Aulia.

It is clear, given the sad statistics above, that we have so very much more to do. Please help us to continue this vital work.  One eye care outreach can help 200 people and costs 500 pounds, including medication.

Please consider giving to our life-changing work. Just click on the link below to donate quickly and securely:

 Virgin Money Giving


Causes of Low Vision in Sudan, a study among the attendees of blind centers in Khartoum, Causes of Low Vision , Sightsavers (on trachoma) Trachoma Mapping , cartercentreorg ( River Blindness), World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Journal, Ocular disorders among schoolchildren in Khartoum State, Sudan, Ocular Disorders


Note on our Nuba Mountains Eye Care Programme 

*Sadly we had to suspend our eye care programme in the Nuba Mountains in 2011 when  conflict was renewed but in the time we were active there,  11,000 patients were examined, 5000 were treated and 2750 operations performed.  7000 reading and sunglasses were distributed over nine years.  We hope it might be possible to renew our work there in the future. 

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