The ophthalmologist, Borja Corcóstegui, medical director of the Ocular Microsurgery Institute (IMO) in Barcelona as well as co-founder and vice-president of the Eyes of the world Foundation, will be taking part in the fundraising dinner and discussion on Thursday, 13 June, at 8.45 pm at the Equestrian Club (Círculo Ecuestre) in Barcelona, in which he will talk about his experience of fighting blindness from the innovation of his Barcelona clinic and the social commitment of the Foundation that he started more than 10 years ago with Rafael Ribó. The charity event, which will begin with a dinner and continue with a discussion between the ophthalmologist and the journalist, Ricardo Fernández Deu, has been organised to raise awareness of the fight against blindness through, on the one hand, technological development as an engine of medical excellence and, on the other, international cooperation, a pressing responsibility, especially in the context of the current economic crisis.
Innovation applied to the fight against blindness
Dr Borja Corcóstegui (San Sebastián, 1950) is a leading specialist in international ophthalmology today. In the mid-1980s, he decided to promote a new model of private ophthalmic medicine by creating a team of ophthalmologists specialising in different parts of the eye, and their associated disorders, to foster highly-specialised surgical and medical care and promote teaching and research in the field of ophthalmology. Eager to be at the forefront of the speciality, Corcóstegui and his team pioneered the introduction of new techniques and treatments, developed new surgical instruments and introduced, for the first time in Spain, outpatient surgery in the ophthalmological field. In 1994, the ophthalmologist and his team opened the first Ocular Microsurgery Institute (IMO) clinic, which moved in 2009 to its current 22,000-m² site, a leading centre of international repute boasting 9 operating theatres, 70 consulting rooms and a genetic research laboratory. With Corcóstegui at the helm, IMO, considered to be the best ophthalmic centre in Spain by Spanish doctors from different specialities, according to a survey carried out by the Spanish Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) in 2012, is a shining example of innovation applied to ophthalmology in the fight against blindness to improve the quality of life of patients.
Commitment to fighting preventable blindness in the world today
On the other side of the coin, Corcóstegui has also been a pioneer in developing a medium/long-term project of great impact and commitment; the fight against preventable blindness in the poorest countries of the world, by founding, in 2001, the Eyes of the world Foundation. Eyes of the world helps visually-impaired people without economic resources from poor countries to receive quality eye care from local health services and to create conditions to reduce the incidence of eye disorders in these countries. It currently has cooperation projects in the Saharawi refugee camps of Tindouf (Algeria), Mozambique, Bolivia and Mali, where it is promoting the elimination of preventable blindness by the year 2020, as part of the international programme, Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, led by the WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, of whose Advisory Committee Eyes of the world is a member.
Training local staff in quality eye care
Since its inception, the Foundation has managed to open the eyes of thousands of people carrying out around 175,000 consultations and refractive procedures and over 11,000 surgical operations. The success of the Foundation lies in the training of local staff and its commitment to creating eye care networks to attend to patients and refer them from primary care centres to specialised units, where they can receive quality treatment. In 2012 alone, local professionals trained by Eyes of the world treated 57,774 patients. Eyes of the world’s work also involves raising awareness among the public at home of the deficiencies in basic healthcare in these areas.
Fundraising dinner and discussion: FIGHTING BLINDNESS WITH INNOVATION AND SOCIAL COMMITMENT
- Thursday, 13 June 2013. From 8.45 pm
- Moderated by: Ricardo Fernández Deu
- Círculo Ecuestre
- Balmes, 169 bis. Barcelona