Qatar planning database for visually impaired children

April 30, 2011

Qatar is planning a national database to help provide services for children with visual and multiple impairments, a specialist has said.

Plans were also afoot to conduct local and regional research to cover all issues related to visual and multiple impairments in children, Dr Hayat Nazer, Al Noor Institute managing director, said at the Doha Early Intervention Conference for Children with Visual and Multiple Impairments.

“Timely intervention will have massive impact on between 80-90% of children with those special needs as learning is routed through visual aids at this level,” she said at the four-day conference, the first of its kind in the region.

The event, by the Al Noor Institute in collaboration with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness in Eastern Mediterranean region (IAPB-EMR) and Prevention of Blindness Union (PBU), aims to detect impairments at a very early age so that children’s growth is not much affected, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported.

Participants will discuss an integrated comprehensive strategic plan for the social challenge involving organisations dealing with children with special needs.

Dr Nazer said the conference would pave the way for the development of a unified strategy to deal with visual and multiple impairment in children within the Middle East.

“The unified strategy will raise awareness in community and encourage researches in the arena,” she said.

The conference will enhance professional development of experts in the field and help update national statistics for affected children that will assist decision makers in drafting laws for children with visual and multiple impairments.

Dr Nazer called on families of affected children to register them with the institute in remedial solutions and future planning.

“In future, there will be high chances to have a syndicate of all such organisations which directly or indirectly deal with impaired children,” she said.

Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability Shaikha Hessa Bint Khalifa Al Thani praised the organisers of the conference saying that it was “rare to see an event focusing on early intervention for children with disability.”

“Early intervention is the right way to go in order to limit disability and all of the objectives of this conference are in line with the international experiences in this arena,” she said, quoted by the daily.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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