Visual health, as a contribution to the sustainable development program

According to the World Vision 2020 Report of the World Health Organization (WHO), 2,200 million people suffer from visual impairment globally, of which 1,000 million, that is, 45% of the cases could have be avoided.

In Mexico, the figures refer that 2 million 237,000 people have visual impairment, of which 80% have some degree of astigmatism, 24.8% suffer from myopia and 54% of patients diagnosed with diabetes have decreased vision. While the cataract affects three million people.

Against this background, the vision makes an important contribution to the 2030 Sustainable Development Program as it encompasses several of the objectives of the UN initiative; from poverty reduction to economic growth and employment, through education, gender and the reduction of inequalities, among others.

“At APEC we have the firm task of taking care of the visual health of our patients and this allows them to develop in all aspects of their lives, since sight is invaluable,” said Dr. Valeria Sánchez Huerta, General Director of APEC.

Recently, the institution carried out the campaign “Improving Lives, Improving Vision” in conjunction with Essilor and PAUTA, to benefit at least 3,000 low-income girls and boys with glasses; The model was based on the scheme that for every peso that a person donated, APEC and Essilor would donate one more.

It should be noted that in addition to this initiative, the institution works under three fundamental pillars: care work, training of ophthalmologists and scientific research.

Through care work, patients pay a recovery fee for the services and supplies received, and if the cost cannot be covered, a socioeconomic study determines how they can be supported.

The training of ophthalmologists is carried out through an education program to provide the knowledge, abilities, skills and attitudes necessary for the practice of ophthalmology as a specialty. In addition, they provide residents with the necessary experience for health promotion, prevention, diagnosis, medical, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of ophthalmological pathology. Currently APEC has 59 resident doctors in the specialty of ophthalmology and 60 in high specialty, both national and foreign.

And with scientific research, they promote knowledge at the service of visual health in Mexico. In addition, the Ophthalmology Research Unit is focused on the development of new knowledge to deliver it directly to patient care. APEC has a multidisciplinary program that ranges from basic research in molecular and cellular biology to the development of new devices for applications in the clinical and surgical areas.

“Our main objective is prevention and timely treatment, always seeking low-cost care for our patients and with the best technology to achieve visual recovery and incorporation into society with good visual health. Our recovery fees are the lowest, thanks to agreements with laboratories and commercial houses that allow us to reduce costs, so that more people can have access to our services ”, highlighted Dr. Valeria Sánchez Huerta.

It is important to mention that by the year 2025, approximately 90% of the population of children and young people, who perform near vision activities, will have some type of refractive error such as hyperopia, astigmatism or myopia and of that percentage, about 70% will present myopia.

Annually APEC, with the support of various companies, grants more than 315,000 consultations to the same number of patients, performs more than 12,000 surgeries, 120,000 studies and 30,000 treatments at the Central Hospital, located in the center of the Coyoacán mayor’s office, and its eight Peripheral clinics, which allows coverage in Mexico City and the State of Mexico, although they have patients from all over the country and even foreigners.

Finally, the hospital will close this 2021 with nine clinics with the new unit in Cuautitlán Izcalli. And during 2022 they will expand their scope in ophthalmic medical care with two more clinics, for a total of 11 units.

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