The IMO and Càritas join forces to prevent blindness among the economically disadvantaged population

‘Operation Vision’, promoted by the IMO Foundation, aims to offer 500 surgical treatments in one year.

The IMO Foundation launches ‘Operation Vision’ in October, a charity eye care programme that aims to treat 500 economically disadvantaged patients with extreme vision problems. For the programme, IMO Foundation, which is dedicated to ophthalmological research, education and prevention, will have the support of the Ocular Microsurgery Institute (IMO) in Barcelona, which will be responsible for the medical care of the patients, and Càritas Catalunya, which will select the candidates for the charity health programme.

The aim of ‘Operation Vision’ is for the medical and surgical staff of IMO to perform check-ups on over 1,000 patients and carry out 500 surgical interventions in one year, including 350 cataract, 65 vitreous-retinal, 50 glaucoma and 25 procedures for other disorders that may require urgent attention. This surgical plan has been designed on the basis of general statistics on the degree of visual impairment of various eye disorders and their prevalence and on the experience of IMO, which annually performs around 8,000 eye operations. The procedures will be performed at IMO through the voluntary cooperation of the medical and surgical team, consisting of 16 surgeons, 8 anaesthesiologists and 17 theatre personnel, including nurses, technicians and auxiliary staff.

The programme will also involve the centre’s administrative and appointments staff, as IMO, in addition to the surgery, will also handle the entire treatment process. This will include a preliminary diagnostic visit to check the suitability of the candidates selected by Càritas Catalunya, the necessary pre-surgical tests and each patient’s post-surgery follow-up.

The origin of the project

Operation Vision’ is an altruistic project that aims to respond urgently and effectively to an exceptional situation brought about by the current economic crisis affecting increasingly large numbers of people and families who do not have the resources to use private healthcare and cannot always be treated by the public health system. The IMO Foundation began working on the project several months ago, after noting that many patients from at-risk groups, who were taking advantage of its free check-ups, were being diagnosed with major disorders, but could not afford treatment.

Both IMO Foundation, the promoter of the initiative, and IMO, the main participant, alongside Càritas Catalunya, felt the need to show their ethical and professional solidarity and become actively involved in tackling this problem and preventing people in extreme circumstances from also suffering from significant vision loss.