Noor Dubai Foundation to distribute 6,000 free reading glasses across mosques in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Noor Dubai Foundation has announced the launch of a new initiative where 6,000 free reading glasses are being distributed to individuals with limited means across mosques in Dubai.

Noor Dubai Foundation, a non-profit organisation that says its campaigns have benefited more than 27 million individuals since its inception in 2008, aims to provide treatment to preventable forms of blindness and educating the public about the causes of blindness and how to avoid them.

So far, 3,000 free reading glasses have been distributed across 25 mosques in Dubai by the foundation, in collaboration with Al Jaber Optical and Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department. Another 3,000 will be distributed over the next few weeks.

During Ramadan, many Muslims prefer to read the Quran, especially after prayers. Many mosques provide copies of the Quran but they do not provide reading glasses for those who need it.

The initiative launched by the foundation will help those who are suffering from presbyopia — the loss of near-focusing ability that occurs with age — by providing a self-check on their eyesight and giving them the reading eyeglasses they need.

Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of the foundation, said presbyopia happens naturally as people age, making them unable to read small text at a distance, which can hinder daily activities like reading text messages, books, subtitles on the TV etc. Presbyopia is easily corrected by using reading glasses.

Latest statistics show that there are approximately 1.04 billion people with presbyopia globally, of which 517 million have visual impairment due to a lack of appropriate near-vision correction.

“The provision of glasses helps create awareness about eye health and encourage people towards healthier reading habits and helps those in need to read Quran during the last few days of the holy month,” added Dr Taryam.

A self eye check-up was also available inside the mosques and, as part of the initiative, mosque employees were provided with the necessary tools and training to conduct this evaluation inside mosques and given the glasses for distribution.

Noor Dubai worked with Al Jaber Optical to provide the reading glasses and with Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department to help train and manage the process of preforming eye checks and providing glasses.