10th anniversary of the National Centre

On 13th December, doctors and low vision patients spoke about their experiences at the Gemelli Hospital, Rome, Italy: a day of celebration with free eye exams

On Thursday 13th December 2018 we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the National Centre of Services and Research for the Prevention of Blindness and Vision Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired, with personal stories shared by its protagonists: from ophthalmologists to visually impaired people. It was a day of celebration: many stories and personal life experiences were shared by people of all ages, from children to the elderly, in the presence of their families.

decennale_polo_nazionale-iapb_italia_onlus-web-iapb_gemelli_dic_2018_091.jpgWithin this broad framework, free eye exams were performed. People who wanted to have their eyes examined simply had to go to the help desk that had been set up in the hall, by the entrance to the Gemelli Hospital (4th floor), with no need of a prior booking. Examinations were performed by ophthalmologists and orthoptists from 10 to 12:30 a.m. in two dedicated areas: one reserved for children and the other for adults.

The various events of the day – which were moderated by the journalist Nicoletta Carbone of the Italian Radio 24, and were assisted by Dr. Filippo Amore – started at 10 a.m: after a brief presentation, there was also a welcoming speech by Mr. Giuseppe Castronovo, President of IAPB Italy, founder and current President of the National Centre.


The National Centre is a wonderful initiative, which is crucial for vision rehabilitation and blindness prevention. We don’t want anybody to become blind: neither children, nor adults or elderly people.

Among the day’s speakers were Ms. Giuseppina Rizzo (from the Ministry of Health), Prof. Emilio Balestrazzi, former Director of the Ophthalmology Clinic of Gemelli Hospital, as well as its current Director, Prof. Aldo Caporossi.

The international relevance of the National Centre – as unique WHO Collaborating centre for vision rehabilitation since 2013 – and vision rehabilitation of children were outlined thanks to the presentations by the Director of the National Centre, Dr. Filippo Amore, the ophthalmologist Dr. Romina Fasciani (Gemelli Hospital)and Prof. Eugenio Mercuri (Director of the Child Neuropsychiatry Department of the Gemelli Hospital).

iapb_gemelli_dic_2018_46_-decennale_palco-web-400pix.jpgThe second part of the morning featured speeches by Ms. Stefania Fortini (psychologist and psychotherapist, Deputy Director of the National Centre), Dr. Daniela Ricci (child neuropsychiatrist) and Dr. Simona Turco (ophthalmologist of the National Centre). The day was enriched not only by live musical performances, but also by an exhibition of paintings and sculptures made by patients.