- Optometric treatments are multiplied by three due to the increase in people who have lost their jobs due to COVID19
- The Foundation has agreements with 24 entities through the Mirem per tu program to solve vision problems of people without resources
A total of 229 people from the city of Barcelona and its province in a situation of social vulnerability have already received prescription glasses thanks to the Mirem per tu program that the Barraquer Foundation launched in 2019 to help citizens with few resources to gain quality of life through their sight.
Thus, the number of patients that the Barraquer Foundation has treated and referred to this chain has multiplied by three between the months of January and March of this year, with 86 optometric treatments with the delivery of glasses through General Óptica in comparison to the 29 figure that occurred during the same period of the previous year, on the threshold of the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
The director of the Barraquer Foundation, Francesc Ballbé, explains that, due to the pandemic, the profile of beneficiaries whom they already helped regularly “has been joined by those who, until recently, had a comfortable economic position and now, they have lost their jobs or had to close the business. They are people who have had to ask for help for the first time”.
From the same foundation we have also found cases of private patients from the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centrer who had been treated for years and who now have suddenly run out of resources and cannot cope with the treatments. "If these people, like the rest, meet the requirements to access the aid program, we serve them free of charge," according to Ballbé.
Throughout this year, the Barraquer Foundation, through the Mirem per tu program, has signed ten more agreements with social entities to provide free treatments and promote eye examinations to vulnerable people, reaching 24 signed agreements. The new alliances have been signed since last January with entities such as the Fundación Pere Tarrés, the Fundación Albert, the Asociación Malla or Trinijove.
This program mainly serves people from the city of Barcelona and its demarcation, but also users from other territories of Catalonia and even the rest of the Spanish State.
Ballbé explains that “the situation is currently complicated, since, on the one hand, requests for help increase and, consequently, program expenses and, on the other hand, income has dropped drastically and it is increasingly difficult to obtain economic resources". For this reason, "for 2021 one of the main objectives of the Barraquer Foundation is to intensify the work of raising funds in the private sphere to increase the network of collaborators," he details.
Prevention and early detection is essential to guarantee good eye health, key to personal, social and work development of people. "The most vulnerable people do not have the necessary financial resources to undergo regular check-ups or to treat minor annoyances and that usually means that they usually do not go to the ophthalmologist when it would be advisable," says Ballbé.
The Foundation has agreements with 24 entities through the Mirem per tu program to solve vision problems of people without resources