A national database which will be used to render specialised services for children with visual and multiple impairments is being planned in Qatar, it was learnt yesterday.
Speaking at the opening of the Doha Early Intervention Conference for Children with Visual and Multiple Impairments, Al Noor Institute managing director, Dr Hayat Nazer, said plans were also afoot to conduct local and regional researches to cover all issues pertaining to visual and multiple impairments in children.
She also noted that 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.
The aim of the four-day conference, which is the first of its kind in the region, was to detect impairments at a very early age so that children’s growth is not much affected.
The event, being organised at the La Cigale Hotel 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), will make an integrated comprehensive strategic plan for the social challenge involving organisations dealing with children with special needs.
Dr Nazer mentioned that the conference will 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.
She also mentioned that the conference will enhance professional development of the concerned experts in the field and also help to update national statistics for affected children, helping the decision makers in drafting laws for children with visual and multiple impairments.
Dr Nazer called on families of affected children to get them registered with the Institute in remedial solutions and future planning.
“In future, chances are high to have a syndicate of all such organisations which directly or indirectly deal with impaired children,” she said while assuring of various services available for children with visual and multiple impairments.
Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa al-Thani praised the organisers of the event saying that it was “rare to see such 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.
Also speaking at the event attended by Al Noor Institute’s Chairman Dr Hassan Ali bin Ali, Institute general supervisor Dr Saif al-Hajri described the conference as the confirmation and commitment towards giving services to children and ensuring early intervention.
He recalled that in the past, experience with children with visual and multiple impairment children were not as good as the present due to late intervention.
Other speakers at the event were Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) general directior Fahd Mohannadi, IAPB-EMR co-chair Dr Abdul Aziz al-Rajhi, Qatar National Cancer Society Chairman Dr Khalid bin Jaber al-Thani and guest speaker Dr Lea Hyvarinen.
The conference was sponsored by QEWC (main sponsor), Qatar Power, Ras Girtas Power Company, Messaieed Power and Ras Laffan Power Company.
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