This study is indebted to the Order of St John for the
provision of funding and facilities, including the mobile outreach unit
that allowed this study to be completed. I wish to acknowledge in
particular the great contribution of the late Sir Stephen Miller, the then
Hospitaller for supporting this study. I also wish to thank Dr Lee
Chumbley, then Consultant Ophthalmologist at St John’s and Mr Anthony
Morgan, then the Warden of the Hospital at the time for their support.
Also my thanks to my colleagues, in particular Dr Saleem Abu Atta,
Consultant Anaesthetist, for all their support. This is in addition to all
the ophthalmologists at SJOH, in particular Drs Henry Backhouse, Ziad
Ja’ouni and Khaled Taqtaq, Consultant Ophthalmologists.
Special thanks also go to the team of the Blind School Survey in
particular the late Miss Nafisa Jaber, Nawal Al-Baba and Maureen Jalili,
together with all the nurses and paramedics who supported the work.
Thanks go also to all the staff of St John’s Hospital who provided such
My deep gratitude and thanks to Mr Jabr Shaaban, then the Social Worker at
UNRWA Blind School, Gaza whose devotion to the school and the out-reach
survey made possible the research; also for his prime role in helping to
raise funds with which to purchase the electrodiagnostic facilities for
the hospital. My appreciation to the school staff for their support.
I also wish to thank Dr Peter Qumri, Consultant Surgeon at Beth Jala and
Chairman of the Friends of the Sick Society in Bethlehem for his enormous
help and in particular with public relations, and also thanks to the
Hebron Friends of the Sick Society. A donation from the Pontifical Mission
and The Friends of the Sick Society at Hebron enabled us to purchase red
glasses for the retinal dystrophy cases together with a generous donation
by the late Sami Al-Shawa towards the purchase of the electrodiagnostic
equipment for the hospital in support for the research.
Special thanks also to the late Professor David Smith, then Professor of
Dental Radiology at Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill for support on
the dental work and his trips to Gaza to undertake dental screening. Also
thanks to Mr Anthony Moore, then Consultant Ophthalmologist at
Addenbrook’s Hospital, Cambridge for his visit to Gaza and help in
examining and advising on patients. Special thanks also to the late
Professor Barrie Jay who encouraged me to pursue the research.