On 11 June 2019 the Parliamentary Intergroup for Sight Prevention was presented in Rome at the Chamber of Deputies. Its objective is to bring eye health prevention to the heart of Italian health policies, with the ambitious goal of saving the sight of Italian citizens through good health-care practises
This initiative was promoted by a group of MPs in the wake of a number of awareness campaigns run by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness – IAPB Italy, which carried out a screening for retinal and optic nerve pathologies at the premises of Italy’s lower and upper chambers.
At least three million Italians are affected by eye diseases that compromise the retina and the optic nerve, such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, each affecting about one million people.
Paolo Russo MP, President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Sight Prevention, has stated that “prevention is an absolute necessity.” Dr. Marco Verolino, Head of Ophthalmics at the Ospedali Riuniti Area Vesuviana ASL Napoli 3 Sud, added that “today the best cure for problems of the visual system is still prevention.”
Amongst the speakers was also Mr. Giuseppe Castronovo, President of IAPB Italy, who stated: “Prevention is maybe the noblest word. […] If we are talking about the prevention of blindness, then it becomes a wonderful word, especially for me, since I lost my sight at the age of nine to a World War II shell. […] We always insist that people must go to an ophthalmologist for an examination. […] Prevention needs to be in place from birth and maybe, if possible, even before (from gestation).”
Prof. Filippo Cruciani, scientific advisor of IAPB Italy, explained that “researchers are committed on various fronts and they have produced some results, but we especially need to invest in prevention, both in primary and secondary terms. Primary prevention basically means lifestyle, while secondary prevention consists of early diagnosis, when diseases are still in the asymptomatic stage. Unfortunately prevention is still not widespread in Italy.
● Paolo Russo MP, President of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Sight Prevention (FI)
● Giuseppe Castronovo, President of IAPB Italy
● Guido De Martini MP, Member of the Social Affairs Committee of the Chamber of Deputies (Lega)
● Dr. Marco Verolino, Head of Ophthalmics at the Ospedali Riuniti Area Vesuviana ASL Napoli 3 Sud
● Prof. Filippo Cruciani, scientific advisor of IAPB Italy