Raheem Rahmathullah

Director, Sustainability Initiatives

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Years Active: 46

Education: B.S. Osmania University, India and Certificate in Community Eye Health, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 1993


Raheem Rahmathullah has 30 years of working experience in the eye care field. He joined IEF in 2000 directly from the Aravind Eye Care System in India where he managed several of the Aravind Eye Hospitals focusing on high volume cataract surgery for over 10 years. He served as research coordinator on clinical trials and population-based prevalence studies on vitamin A supplementation, evaluation of the quality of life and IOL acceptance, measurement of visual function and quality of life in patients with cataract, and eye banking. Mr. Rahmathullah was part of the team of evaluating the Government of India’s World Bank-funded National Eye Care Program and contributed expertise to the Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology (LAICO) leading hospital change initiatives at hospitals throughout India. Before joining IEF, he established and administered the Rotary Aravind International Eye Bank in Madurai building it into one of the world’s largest eye bank. Mr. Rahmathullah has a Bachelors degree B.A, completed a Certificate in Community Eye Health from the International Center for Eye Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. Numerous short courses in epidemiology, biostatistics, and health management, as well as eye banking from the International Federation of Eye Banks’ International Eye Bank in Prague, Czech Republic have broadened his expertise and experience.

As IEF’s Director of Sustainability Initiatives, Mr. Rahmathullah travels extensively providing one-on-one management expertise to IEF’s network of 55 eye hospitals in 23 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia of which 25 have been public sector hospitals with PAHO/WHO. He has co-authored 15 scientific articles, one book chapter, and has presented on the concepts and practice of sustainability at several international meetings around the world. He has facilitated over 30 international workshops.

Mr. Rahmathullah was awarded the World Eye Health Leader Award by the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in 2014. IEF was awarded the Global Collaboration award by IAPB in Sept 2016 and Mr. Raheem Rahmathullah received the award on behalf of IEF. Mr. Raheem Rahmathullah was recognized by the National Institute of Ophthalmology (INO) and the Ministry of Health (MINSA) in Peru September 2018 for his contribution through IEF to Public Sector eye care services in Peru and the Latin American Region.

Mr. Raheem Rahmathullah through IEF is also a consultant to other International organizations such as Orbis International and Christopher Blinden Mission (CBM) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Mr. Raheem Rahmathullah is contracted by these organizations from IEF to work with their programs around the world. Mr. Raheem Rahmathullah is a member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), for the USAID Child Blindness Program which is subcontracted to contractors 2013-2018 and again for the new contract for 2018-2023.


Publications:

  1. Peter Y. Zhao MD, Raheem Rahmathullah, Brian C. Stagg MD, Deepak P. Edward MD, Alan Robin MD, Joshua Stein MD. Abstract submitted for publication to JAMA 2018
  2. Rahmathullah R, How fixed fees and patient choice can support eye care for the poorest. “Community Eye Health Journal; 2013 2(83) 54:55
  3. Rahmathullah R, Barrows J and Sheffield V, “Transforming Eye Clinics and Hospitals to Sustainability - The International Eye Foundation's Social Enterprise Model; European Ophthalmic Review journal, Vol 2, International Section, 2008.
  4. Rahmathullah R, Barrows J, Sheffield V, “Making refractive error services sustainable: the International Eye Foundation model”, Community Eye Health Journal, Vo. 20, Issue 63, International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Sept. 2007
  5. D. Thulasiraj, Raheem Rahmathullah, A.Saraswathi, S. Selveraj, Leon B. Ellwein.The Sivaganga Eye Survey 1. Blindness and cataract surgery, Journal of Ophthalmic Epidemiology; 2002; Vol 9; No. 5; pp299-312.
  6. K. Nirmalan, R.D.Thulasiraj, V. Maneksha, R. Rahmathullah, R. Ramakrishnan, A. Padmavathi, S R Munoz, L.B.Ellwein, A population based eye survey of older adults in Tirunelveli district of South India: blindness, cataract surgery, and visual outcomes, British Journal of Ophthalmology (BJO), 2002; 86: 505-512.
  7. Raheem Rahmathullah, M. Srinivasan, Alees Rajkumar, Selvam, Eye Banking for developing countries in the new millennium, Journal of Tamil Nadu Ophthalmic Association; Vol XXXX; No 3; September 1999.
  8. Srinivasan, Raheem Rahmathullah, Clifford R Blair, Aparna C Murphy, Roy W Beck, John H Wilkins, John P Whitcher, Gilbert Smolin, Cataract Progression in India, British Journal of Ophthalmology; 1997; 81; 896-900
  9. Jessica E Oliver, R.D. Thuilasiraj, Raheem Rahmathullah, Baburajan, Joanne Katz, James Tielsch, Oliver D Schein, Vision-specific function and quality of life after cataract extraction in South India, Journal of cataract refractive surgery; Vol 24, February 1998
  10. N. Natchiar, R. D. Thulasiraj, A.D Negrel, Shrikant Bangdiwala, Raheem Rahmathullah, N. Venkatesh Prajna, Leon B. Ellwein, Carl Kupfer, The MaduraiIntraocular Lens Study 1: A Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Complications and Vision Outcomes of Intracapsular Cataract Extraction and Extracapsular Cataract Extraction With Posterior Chamber Intraocular Lens, American Journal of Ophthalmology; 1998; Vol. 125; No 1; 125: 1-13.
  11. Astrid E Fletcher, Leon B Ellwein; S. Selveraj, V. Vijayakumar, Raheem Rahmathullah, R.D. Thulasiraj, Measurements of Vision Function and Quality of Life in Patients with Cataracts in Southern India, Archives of Ophthalmology; Vol 115; June 1997.
  12. Venkatesh Prajna, Raheem Rahmathullah, Reaching The Unreached – The Aravind Odyssey, Asia Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology; Vol 7; No.4; October 1995.
  13. Venkatesh Prajna, Raheem Rahmathullah, Changing Trends in the Intraocular Lens Acceotance in Rural Tamil Nadu, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology; 44: 177-179; 1995
  14. Raheem Rahmathullah, Patient Counsellors/Helpers. A concept developed by Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, South India, Community Eye Health Journal; London School of Hygene and Tropical Medicine, Vol 6; No 12; 1993
  15. Lakshmi Rahmathullah, Barbara A. Underwood, Ravilla D. Thulasiraj, Roy Milton, Kala Ramaswamy, Raheem Rahmathullah, Ganesh Babu, Reduced Mortality Among Children in Southern India Receiving A Small Weekly Dose of Vitamin A, The New England Journal of Medicine; 323; 929-935; October 4, 1990

Presentations at International Conferences:

  1. 3rd meeting of the eye and eye care managers at the ministries of health Latin America and the Caribbean- Raheem Rahmathullah- Bogota, Columbia, 2017-
  2. Desafios del future en salud visual de Latino America I – John Barrows, Victoria Sheffield and Raheem Rahmathullah, PAAO Lima Peru 2017.
  3. Child Blindness partners meeting Cape Town, South Africa 2017. Raheem Rahmathullah
  4. How to develop a business plan to make a sustainable program on prevention of cataract blindness or any other pathology- Raheem Rahmathullah, WOC Guadalajara, Mexico, 2016.
  5. Changing old standards and Protocols to achieve effeciency within Public Sector in Honduras. Raheem Rahmathullah, Dr. Juan Carlos Silva, Dr. Doris Alvarado, Victoria M. Sheffield, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Durban, 2016
  6. Empower change in the public ophthalmic sector in three countries in Central America- Raheem Rahmathullah, Juan Carlos Silva, Joan Mcloed Omawale, Marisela Salas Vargas, Doris Matilde Alvarado, Ricardo Stanley Pineda Martinez, John Barrows and Victoria Sheffield, PAAO Bogota, Columbia. 2015.
  7. Iniciativas Regionales en Prevencion De la Ceguera: Rol de las instituciones – John Barrows, Victoria Sheffield and Raheem Rahmathullah PAAO Bogota, Columbia. 2015.
  8. Partnership for process improvement in a public sector eye hospital by an international NGO and a Peruvian NGO in Peru – Alberto Lazo Legua, Raheem Rahmathullah, Cesar Gonzales, Jaime Huaman, Joan Mcloed Omawale, John Barrows and Victoria Sheffield- PAAO Bogota, Columbia. 2015.
  9. How to develop a business plan to make a sustainable program on prevention of cataract blindness or any other pathology- Raheem Rahmathullah, WOC Guadalajara, Mexico, 2016.
  10. Empower change in the public ophthalmic sector in three countries in Central America- Raheem Rahmathullah, Juan Carlos Silva, Joan Mcloed Omawale, Marisela Salas Vargas, Doris Matilde Alvarado, Ricardo Stanley Pineda Martinez, John Barrows and Victoria Sheffield, PAAO Bogota, Columbia. 2015.
  11. Iniciativas Regionales en Prevencion De la Ceguera: Rol de las instituciones – John Barrows, Victoria Sheffield and Raheem Rahmathullah PAAO Bogota, Columbia. 2015.
  12. Partnership for process improvement in a public sector eye hospital by an international NGO and a Peruvian NGO in Peru – Alberto Lazo Legua, Raheem Rahmathullah, Cesar Gonzales, Jaime Huaman, Joan Mcloed Omawale, John Barrows and Victoria Sheffield- PAAO Bogota, Columbia. 2015.
  13. Challenges Faced by developing country institutions when making changes in programming and practice – Raheem Rahmathullah, John Barrows and Victoria Sheffield- Cataract working Group Anaheim, California, USA
  14. Challenges Faced by developing country institutions when making changes in programming and practice – Raheem Rahmathullah, John Barrows and Victoria Sheffield- Cataract working Group Anaheim, California, USA
  15. Global initiatives for cataract surgery efficiency and sustainability- John Barrows, Raheem Rahmathullah & Victoria Sheffield – AAO 2013
  16. Santangelo M, Gilbert S, Sheffield VM (supported by Barrows JM and Rahmathullah R, Lewallen S, Thulasiraj RD, Yee M: Course “Strengthening Eye Care Infrastructure in Developing Countries”, American Academy of Ophthalmology, San Francisco 2009
  17. Rahmathullah R, Barrows J, Sheffield V:  “Determining the balance of private, subsidized, and poor patients to achieve equity and financial sustainability”, VIII General Assembly, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Buenos Aires 2008
  18. Rahmathullah R, Barrows J, Shields W, Sheffield V, “Optical Services as a Critical Component of Eye Care and Sustainability”, Inaugural World Congress on Refraction Error and Service Development, International Centre for Eyecare Education, Durban 2007
  19. Sheffield VM, Barrows JM, Rahmathullah R, “The Social Enterprise Model as an Alternative to Private vs. Public Ophthalmology Practice”, poster, 30th Congress, International Council of Ophthalmology, Sao Paolo, 2006
  20. Sheffield VM, Barrows JM, Rahmathullah R, “Increasing Cataract Surgical Volume and Quality for Paying and Subsidized Patients in a Latin American Private Practice Setting and an African Government Setting”, poster, 30th Congress, International Council of Ophthalmology, Sao Paolo, 2006
  21. Sheffield VM, Barrows JM, Rahmathullah R, “The Social Enterprise Model as an Alternative to Private vs. Public Ophthalmology Practice”, 5th Congress, South-East European Congress of Ophthalmology, Sofia 2005.
  22. Rahmathullah R, Barrows J, Chirambo M, Yee M, El-Maghraby A, Thulasiraj RD, Green D, Sheffield V, “Redesign of eye care services using business practices and income generation options to support eye care services for the poor: Review of progress and constraints in 3 countries”, VII General Assembly, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, Dubai 2004.
  23. Raheem Rahmathullah, John M Barrows, Moses Chirambo, Mariano Yee Melgar, Akef El-Maghraby, David Green, and R D Thulasiraj, Introducing Business Practices, Management Reform, and Creative Income Generation Options to Increase Eye Care Services for the Poor - Results from Eye Hospitals in Three Developing Countries, Visual Health Sciences, UNESCO conference, Barcelona, June 2003.
  24. Raheem Rahmathullah, Experience in the Use of a Precaliberated Dispensing Bottle for the Delivery of Vitamin A, Paper presented at the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVAG/INAG) meeting in Katmandu, Nepal – 1989.

Book Chapter:

  1. Sheffield V, Barrows J, Rahmathullah R, Chapter 2 “Sustainable eye programs”, Eye Care in Developing Nations, 4th edition by Schwab L, pp 47-52, Manson Publishing, London 2007
  2. Eye Banking for developing countries in the new millennium. Raheem Rahmathullah, Dr.M.Srinivasan, Mrs. Alees Rajkumar, Mr. Selvam. Journal of Tamilnadu Ophthalmic Association, vol XXXX No.3 Sept 1999.

Evaluation:

  1. Technical Advisory Group member (TAG) for the Child Blindness Program of USAID 2013-2018 and 2018-2023.
  2. I was a member of the evaluating team sent by Aravind Eye Hospital at the request of the Government of India to evaluate a randomly selected group of hospitals of their performance, quality, efficiency, productivity and service delivery. This was an evaluation for the eye care program of the Government of India which was funded and supported by the World Bank for 7 years. A report of our findings and recommendations were submitted to the Government of India. Subsequently certain recommendations were incorporated into policy by the Government of India. This changed the way eye care services were to be delivered in India.
  3. Evaluated Programs in Bangladesh for Volunteer Eye Surgeons International to see potential for sustainability.
  4. Evaluated a program in Nicaragua for Volunteer Optometrist Serving Humanity (VOSH). Did a feasibility and gave them a report
  5. Evaluated a eye hospital in Ethiopia in 2008 for American Cataract and refractive Services (ASCRS) and gave them a feasibility report.
  6. Evaluate and assess all programs for IEF that will be supported with funding and monitor results.

Awards and Recognition:

World Eye Health Leader Award (IAPB 2014 at Paris)

Recognized for the work done with Public Sector in Peru and Latin America by INO/MINSA at the VIIth International Course in September 2018

IEF was awarded the Global Collaboration award by the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness at Durban in 2016. This award was collected on behalf of IEF by Raheem Rahmathullah.

31 years of working experience in the eye care sector.

International Workshops Facilitated:

  1. CBM workshop in Lima -2010
  2. CBM Workshop at Recife, Brazil- 2011
  3. IRO Workshop at Trujillo, Peru -2012
  4. CBM workshop at Port Au Prince, Haiti -2013
  5. PAHO workshop, Panama 2015
  6. ORBIZ Strategic Planning Workshop Kitwe, Zambia 2017
  7. Strategic Planning MINSA workshop – Trujillo, Peru
  8. Strategic Planning workshop - Guatemala - July 2005
  9. Sustainability and Strategic Planning Workshop – Guatemala Aug 2006
  10. Sustainability and Strategic Planning Workshop – Egypt July 2006
  11. Sustainability and Strategic Planning Workshop – Paraguay 2009
  12. Sustainability and Strategic Planning Workshop – Egypt Sep 2009

Affiliations:

Aravind Eye Hospital, Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology (LAICO), Eye Health Hero Award, International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, 2014