• Championing Eye Health Around the World

    Program Director Jorge Bahamont and residents from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia, were thrilled to receive a full, 13-section set of the Basic and Clinical Science Course (BCSC) through the Academy’s Education Distribution Project.

    Now more than ever, the world looks to us. The Academy Foundation is delivering more resources, in more ways, to the physicians and patients who need them most — no matter where they’re located.

    Last year:

    • We partnered with international ophthalmic societies to provide ONE Network access to 46,456 ophthalmologists in 66 developing countries, connecting them to cuttingedge clinical knowledge.
    • The Host an Ophthalmologist Program and the Rotary Club Host Project brought a total of 36 ophthalmologists to AAO 2017, where they gained new skills and invaluable professional experiences.

    We also did more for developing countries:

    • In 2017, the Education Distribution Project provided 130 full sets of the 13-volume Basic and Clinical Science Course™ (BCSC®) to residency programs in developing countries.
    • The project sent an additional 125 sets to programs in partnership with the International Council of Ophthalmology.
    • More than 500 bags of educational books and DVDs were distributed to AAO 2017 attendees from developing countries through the project.

    While on a mission with Mercy Ships, Jean R. Hausheer, MD, had the opportunity to provide books on behalf of the Academy to ophthalmologists in Cameroon. “There are 120 ophthalmologists in Cameroon, and only 15 are surgeons, with 21 million citizens here in the country,” she said. “These ophthalmologists who complete an ophthalmic residency have virtually never performed a surgery. Instead, they have watched others. Here, we teach them to do the cases. By the time we are done, they will be successful ophthalmic surgeons.” The Cameroonian surgeons were thrilled to receive copies of the Academy’s Basic Techniques of Ophthalmic Surgery. Every Friday they perform more than 100 YAG capsulotomies, followed by “celebrate sight” African singing and dancing.

    Communities the world over are desperate for eye care. For many, the difference between blindness and sight depends on the resources and training of local physicians. These physicians rely on us.

    We’re here for them. Our global programs are reaching further every day — protecting sight in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.