MBiotech Alum Featured by CBC News For His Philanthropic Efforts

Tarek Photo
Monday, November 21, 2016 - 12:41pm

Tarek Bin Yameen, from MBiotech’s Class of 2014, has had his inspirational story featured on CBC News’ website. 

Currently a medical student at the University of Toronto, Tarek has launched a pilot project which provides free vision clinics to Syrian refugees.  Working with St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, the not-for-profit group Mes Amis, and Prism Eye Institute, the clinics are able to provide Syrian families with eye exams at no cost. Based on these initial exams, if further specialist appointments are needed (or if an individual requires glasses) they are provided to the patient immediately – support made possible through the presence of both translators and specialist doctors at the clinics. Launched this past summer (2016) the program has already treated close to 500 refugees. 

When asked about his motivations behind the project, Bin Yameen emphasized both the specialized needs of the Syrian refugee population, as well as his own personal life story:

"This group represents a unique population with complex healthcare needs that faces numerous barriers in accessing treatments. I hope that others will be inspired by this project to bridge gaps in healthcare that many other vulnerable populations face in Canada, including our homeless and aboriginal populations.

As a child that lived through civil war in Yemen in 1994, I see myself in a lot of these children. The vast majority of our patients, around 70%, are children under the age of 18. Around 40 to 50% of everyone we screened need follow-up treatments for vision correction or medical/surgical intervention to treat an underlying eye disease. These staggering statistics represent the complex healthcare needs to this population and the need for these clinics

Launched this past summer (2016) the program has already treated close to 500 refugees. A total of 180 refugees attended the first clinic alone, with three more having been scheduled over upcoming months.

See the CBC's article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-medical-student-refugee-eye-care-1.3849327 OR watch CBC's late night coverage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uadAqceUs0c&feature=youtu.be