Re: HOUSTON WELCOMES WORLD HEALTH LEADER OCTOBER 19, 2000

A global call to action: Vision 2020: The Right to Sight

InFOCUS (Interprofessional Fostering of Ophthalmic Care for Underserved Sectors), will welcome Dr. Adam Zayan to Houston on Thursday, October 19, 2000 to announce a worldwide campaign to eliminate avoidable blindness: Vision 2020: The Right to Sight. .

Dr. Zayan, a member of a special World Health Organization Task Force led by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, will describe this historic initiative--aimed largely at the world’s most underserved communities—in a keynote address at the Rotary Club of Houston’s luncheon meeting on October 19 at noon at the Junior League Building, 1811 Briar Oaks. John Tuschman, Chair of the Day for the Rotary Club of Houston meeting, notes that the Club has designated that date as "InFOCUS Day" to raise awareness of the unmet need for basic vision care throughout the world, and call attention to how the InFOCUS Center for Primary Eye Care Development is working to address that need.

Dr. Zayan, , M.D., M.P.H., is Vice President and Medical Director of ORBIS International, where he is directing a project to address the root causes of blindness in the developing world. Prior to joining ORBIS, Dr. Zayan was instrumental in carrying out health initiatives in Nigeria, Bangladesh and Egypt. He has held leadership roles in several international organizations, including Save the Children, Helen Keller Worldwide, and Partners in Population and Development. Zayan earned his medical degree at the University of Alexandria and a Masters in Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

Jed L. Howard, M.D., InFOCUS Vice President and Advisory Board Chair, notes: "Based in Houston, the InFOCUS Center for Primary Eye Care Development pioneers and promotes ways to expand access to high quality, low cost eye care services for medically underserved populations. As a member of the World Health Organization’s Partnership Committee of organizations dedicated to the prevention of blindness, InFOCUS is proud to host Dr. Zayan’s visit to Houston to bring much-needed attention to this important, worldwide initiative."

InFOCUS will honor Dr. Zayan on October 19 at 6 p.m. at a reception at the University of Texas School of Public Health. The reception will provide an opportunity for members of Houston’s public health and ophthalmic communities to learn about Vision 2020, and consider how their organizations may be able to participate.

With a global network of partner agencies, academic centers and health care professionals, the InFOCUS Center for Primary Eye Care Development:

  • Raises awareness of and support for primary eye care
  • Develops locally sustainable program strategies
  • Prepares health and human service providers to offer primary eye care services
  • Links large, underserved populations to eye care professionals and medical care
  • Dr. Ian Berger, Director of the InFOCUS Center for Primary Eye Care Development, states "Houston has led the way in vision care on many occasions. InFOCUS and Houston-area vision and health care leaders could lead the way again, helping people at home and abroad enjoy the many benefits of healthy eyes and clear vision."