World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published its first report on vision health around the world at the request of Member States during a side event to the 70th World Health Assembly, which also earned the support of world experts. It is estimated that there are currently 2.2 billion people who have vision impairment in various countries. Launched two days before World Sight Day 2019, which is observed on 10 October, WHO has covered the challenges eye care service providers and the rest of the world face in terms of eye care, including inequalities in the coverage and quality of prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services. Among these challenges is the poor integration of eye care services into health systems.
The key proposal of the 180-page report is for all countries to provide integrated people-centred eye care services which will ensure that people receive a continuum of eye care based on their individual needs throughout their lives. The report is directed at ministries of health, development agencies, civil society organizations and researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from the field of eye care. It also aims to assist Member States and their partners in reducing the burden of eye conditions and vision loss, as well as, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG target 3.8 on universal health coverage.
World Sight Day, a global observance co-ordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The WSD19 theme is Universal Eye Health and the call-to-action is “Vision First!”
Read the full report in Issue87 of Eyezone Magazine.