The Philippine Glaucoma Society (PGS) was selected by the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) to be a recipient of the Outstanding Service in Prevention of Blindness Award for the year 2016. It was awarded during the 31st APAO Congress in Taiwan on March 24-27, 2016.
The mission of Philippine Glaucoma Society (PGS) is to elevate the level of glaucoma care in the Philippines through continuing medical education activities, training, service, research, and public awareness campaigns. Public awareness campaigns became a major thrust of the society the last decade with the release of local hospital-based studies that showed that a large number of glaucoma patients were initially diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease. In addition, publication of populationbased studies in various countries showed that more than 50% of individuals with glaucoma did not know that they had the disease. The PGS spearheaded, organized and coordinated glaucoma lay awareness campaigns, which were implemented by PGS members, ophthalmologists, eye centers, hospitals and local ophthalmology societies throughout the Philippines to increase awareness and help prevent blindness from this disease.
The PGS, in cooperation with industry partners, provided printed and presentation materials on glaucoma to ophthalmologists for their awareness activities and disseminated information on glaucoma through traditional and alternative media. This effort was highlighted during the 2015 World Glaucoma Week when 150 glaucoma awareness activities were organized throughout the Philippines which was one of the highest number recorded for any country on the World Glaucoma Week website.
The PGS also actively conducts continuing medical education activities to ophthalmologists and trainees to help diagnose this disease in its earliest form and to promote opportunistic screening. To date, the PGS has conducted lecture roadshows in major cities outside Metro Manila such as Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Pampanga, Cagayan de Oro, Baguio, Tagaytay, and Tuguegarao. The PGS regularly spearheads the glaucoma symposia during the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting. It has also organized two Philippine Glaucoma Congresses to date.
To further supplement the efforts of preventing permanent disability from this condition, the PGS formed the Philippine Glaucoma Foundation (PGF) to raise funds for awareness campaigns and to help indigent patients who require glaucoma surgery. The same PGS members who practice all over the Philippines perform or supervise the pro bono surgeries on indigent patients funded by the PGF.
The PGS has evolved from a group that served fellow subspecialists and ophthalmologists to an organization with expanded purpose and strategies to help decrease the burden of blindness from glaucoma in society.