THE INTERNATIONAL TASK FORCE FOR LOW VISION IN TUNIS
The initiative, which was joined by several Mediterranean Countries, was also promoted by the President of IAPB Italy
After its formation in Taormina in September 2005, The International Task Force for Low Vision “landed” in Tunis on 2nd and 3rd June 2006. It is an international initiative that has been established to counter the phenomenon of visual impairment and to prevent blindness, supported by several Mediterranean Countries: not only Italy and Tunisia (the sponsor nations), but also France, Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria and pre-war Libya.
The Task Force for Low Vision was conceived by the President of IAPB Italy Giuseppe Castronovo, together with professors Ahmed Trabelsi and Bruno Lumbroso, during the symposium on Visual Rehabilitation, which was held in Rome in March 2005. Analysing eye health in various Mediterranean Countries, the promoters realized that direct intervention was required, as – at least in some areas – the problem of reduced vision was not being considered with sufficient attention by local ophthalmologists and health authorities.
The Task Force against low vision consists of a working group of friends and colleagues who share the same goals. For this reason it was decided to “build bridges” in the Mediterranean area, involving ophthalmologists and orthoptists operating in the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.
The main objectives of the Task Force are the following:
1) to evaluate the problem of low vision in the countries concerned;
2) to deepen the interest of ophthalmologists in these regions towards visual rehabilitation and to take care of visually impaired people, who no longer have any possibility of visual recovery, but who need help and support in the daily performance of their tasks;
3) to convince health authorities of the importance of visual rehabilitation;
4) to organise congresses, symposia and conferences of ophthalmologists, orthoptists and opticians on low vision and vision rehabilitation;
5) to organise training courses on the practical aspects of visual rehabilitation, reserved for a restricted number of people
The Task Force has as its main objective the training of people for the dissemination of their knowledge of the different eye health care disciplines and the training of people, who in turn, will be capable of training other personnel. This is done with the aim of helping people who are not adequately assisted, providing them with care, hope and useful solutions. The Board of the Task Force for Low Vision also met in Algiers (Prof, Ailem) in December 2005, in Marrakech (Prof. Zaghloul and Dr. Rais) in January 2006 and then in Palermo.
The Task Force has as honorary President the Lawyer G. Castronovo (Italy); as Chairman Prof. B. Lumbroso (Italy); as Co-chairman Dr. A Trabelsi (Tunisia); as Secretary Prof. L. Cerulli (Italy); On the Scientific Committee Prof. C. Corbé (France), Prof, A Reibaldi (Italy) and Prof. A. Ouertani (Tunisia); On the Executive Committee Prof. A. Ailem (Algeria), Prof. S. Ayed, Dr. S. Fitouri (Libya), Dr. Timsiline (Algeria), Prof. Aragona (Italy), Prof. A. Pece (Italy), Prof. M.T. Nouri (Algeria), Prof. Zaghloul (Morocco), Prof. R. Crouzet Barbati (Italy), Dr. S. Sidicheickh (Mauritania), Dr. Hache (France); On the Secretarial Committee: Dr. H. Farah (Tunisia), Dr. M. Vadalà (Italy) and Dr. L. Rais (Morocco); as External Advisors: Dr. Abdulaziz Al Rajhi (Saudi Arabia), Dr. Etya’lé (OMS).