Univ.-Prof. Dr. Claus Cursiefen, Director of the Center for Ophthalmology at the University Hospital of Cologne and the Faculty of Medicine, has been elected to Chair LVI of the international university ophthalmological association at the annual meeting of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis (AOI) in Prague.
Active membership is limited to 100 chairs, each of which is assigned a Roman numeral from I to C. Currently, AOI active and emeritus members represent 33 countries around the world. “Being appointed to the prestigious Academia is a great honor and at the same time a task to increase our commitment to the international fight against blindness,” said Prof. Cursiefen. The association advocates for excellence in education, research and medical care worldwide to preserve and restore sight to people around the world.
Worldwide, 36 million people are blind, and another 217 million suffer from moderate or severe visual impairment. Forecasts predict that blindness and severe visual impairment will increase sharply in the coming years. To address this problem, Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis, the International Council of Ophthalmology, and representatives of ophthalmology organizations and industry have formulated the International Ophthalmology Strategic Plan to “Preserve and Restore Vision – Vision for the Future.” This joint effort is supported by the Ophthalmology Foundation and is closely related to the Global Initiative to Eliminate Preventable Blindness. The Vision 2020 – The Right to Sight Initiative, is a multi-year program supported by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.