The GO-E program is dedicated to bringing multidisciplinary focus at Emory and internationally on delivery of the The World Health Organization's (WHO) action plan of access to eye care for all and their global initiative, Vision 2020 (WHO), that works to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020.
GO-E is geographically located in a hub of organizations who fund support of research and delivery of eye care–Lions Lighthouse Foundation, Prevent Blindness Georgia and others. Collaborations among physicians and faculty across the disciplines at Emory offer new opportunities for understanding global barriers to eye care. The proximity of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Carter Center, and faculty in Emory Eye Center's internationally recognized clinical and basic science research programs presents unprecedented opportunities for new learning and cross-collaborations on eye diseases and eye care delivery.
In Georgia, vast disparities exist in access to affordable vision care. This leaves segments of the population with the possibility of potentially blinding disorders remaining undetected in the early stages. Glaucoma, for example, has no early symptoms. It is typically caught during a comprehensive, dilated eye exam. Working with local, state and national organizations to provide education and eye care for adults, as well as children, who are at risk, is absolutely necessary.
GO-E faculty are involved in numerous pioneering projects improving the vision needs of Georgia’s underserved populations including:
• Diabetic screening programs within the Grady Hospital system improving the access to and quality of eye care to Atlanta’s diabetic population.
• Community screening projects – with the Emory School of Medicine Ophthalmology Interest Group large vision screenings are held in the community.
• Migrant Farmer Vision Project – providing vision screenings for children in rural Georgia.
• Rollins School of Public Health Global Vision Course – our faculty put on a yearly course for Masters in Public Health Candidates to gain knowledge in the public health challenges of eye care delivery. Faculty also support MPH candidates in their research dissertations.
• Vision 2020 Georgia – a collaboration of groups working to provide access to eye care to the underserved populations of Georgia.
Internationally, particularly in low-middle income countries, more than 80% of blindness is either avoidable or curable. Through education, patient care and research Emory faculty, staff, and trainees are able to support local eye care providers in the development of operable and sustainable programs that provide quality eye care services in low and middle income countries.
Examples of our work:
• Quiet Eye West Africa/EVICT Study – evaluating the effects of Ebola on the eye and the prevalence of persistent Ebola virus in ocular fluids of survivors who require eye surgery for vision rehabilitation.
• Clinical outreach – provision of clinical care in the areas of Glaucoma, Retina, Oculoplastics, and Pediatric Ophthalmology in Madagascar and Burundi.
• ORBIS – our faculty support ORBIS in their efforts around the globe.
• EcROP – evaluating the economic model for screening and treating retinopathy of prematurity. Past and current study locations include Mexico, Peru and the Philippines.
• Fogarty mentors – our faculty serve as research mentors for Fogarty fellows completing research in eye care worldwide.
• Pediatric cataract – faculty have carried out studies evaluating the cost of cataract surgery in Zambia and are currently working with experts from GA Tech on the development of mobile cataract tracking applications which will improve the quality of care given to pediatric cataract patients in low and middle income countries.
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