Enrique Graue-Hernández
Director of Cornea and Refractive Surgery and Board Member
Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación Conde de Valenciana
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Insight

Expanding Eye-Care Reach

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:20

Sight issues should be considered public health problems because of their negative impact on the productivity not only of those affected but also of those around them, says Enrique Graue-Hernández, Director of Cornea and Refractive Surgery and a Board Member at Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación Conde de Valenciana. “Sight is what allows people to connect to the world, to interact with it and to be productive. People with impaired sight impact their entire surroundings.”
According to Graue-Hernández, sight issues can have a significant and negative impact on communities with limited resources. “Especially in small towns where a person’s role might have a larger impact on the community, impaired sight or blindness might lead to detriments in the community’s development.”
Despite the importance of visual health, there are two important elements hindering the segment’s development: lack of access to health services and lack of a health and prevention culture regarding eyesight. As a 43-year-old nonprofit private assistance institution (IAP) specialized in treating sight conditions, Instituto de Oftalmología Fundación Conde de Valenciana has made a significant effort to reach communities that traditionally are underserved. “We have tried to reach places that do not have ophthalmology services," says Graue-Hernández. At the same time, improving the lack of a health and prevention culture is a work in progress that requires the entire industry’s participation. “Eyesight issues are as important as any heart or lung affliction, which means people need to take care of their eyes as much as they care for their other organs.”