Mobile Ophthalmology Units

With specially equipped camper vans, free examinations are performed on the road, thanks to the periodic campaigns of the IAPB Italy.

Unità mobile oftalmica della IAPB Italia onlus

Mobile Ophthalmology Units (MOU) are medical campervans specially equipped for free eye examinations in squares or schools. Several ophthalmologists are involved with these periodic campaigns of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy, participating in this prevention activity that is particularly useful for citizens. Particular attention is given to those people who don’t undergo regular eye tests, which are fundamental to safeguarding sight.

Currently the Italian branch of IAPB manages some Mobile Ophthalmology Units, to carry out free prevention campaigns. These initiatives are held on several occasions, ranging from national events (such as World Sight Day and the World Glaucoma Week) to local campaigns in schools (such as Watch for children). The prevention of eye diseases constitutes a primary mission of the IAPB Italy, to which a large part of its resources are devoted.

In the specially equipped camper vans about 20,000 eye examinations are carried out every year. In just a few years all the regions of Italy have been visited. Just to provide an overview: in 8 years (from 2005 to 2012), more than 150,000 people have received an eye examination, free of charge, in many Italian cities and their respective provinces. Free eye tests are continuing this year.

The prevention activity has enabled many people to go to hospital or to an ophthalmologist and intervene in time, thereby avoiding the progression of silent pathologies (without symptoms), potentially severely disabling, that could seriously affect visual health (such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy). Taking care of one’s eyes means upgrading the quality of one’s life and that of others.

Prevention can save sight: it is achieved principally with periodic eye-examinations. Love life, love sight, have an eye test!

N.B. The onboard eye examinations have a preventive aim and focus on early diagnosis: they don’t substitute a full eye examination that includes pupil dilation. Therefore medical prescriptions or prescriptions for glasses cannot be issued on board. The objective of the campaign is to focus on single aspects of ocular health, for example a retinal health check or the measurement of intraocular pressure (tonometry).