Israel to Revive Project Exodus

The recent thaw in relations between Israel and the Black African nations that broke diplomatic ties with it after the 1973 Yom Kippur War will revive a project undertaken by Israeli ophthalmologists 27 years ago to eradicate eye diseases common to tropical Africa.

Four Israeli ophthalmologists will establish eye clinics in Africa shortly. Their work is a continuation of Project Exodus, established in 1959 by the late Prof. Isaac Michaelson of Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem to fight such eye diseases as trachoma and river blindness.

Michaelson had succeeded in eradicating them in Israel and his procedures were introduced in many African countries by Israeli doctors in the 1960s. An international symposium dedicated to Michaelson’s memory recently closed in Jerusalem.

It was organized by Hadassah Hospital and attended by ophthalmologists from 26 countries including Poland, Hungary, Lesotho, Liberia and Haiti. The symposium dealt with another area of Michaelson’s expertise–ocular circulation and neovascularization.

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