South East Asia’s eye health needs in spotlight

South East Asia’s eye health needs in spotlight
Highlights

A month after World Sight Day (October 9) ended with the call for ‘No more Avoidable Blindness’, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) has invited key players in the South East Asia region for a workshop on bringing down avoidable blindness by 25 per cent by the year 2019.

International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and its partners are hosting a workshop to draw an action plan to reduce avoidable blindness in South East Asia by 25 per cent in the next five years

A month after World Sight Day (October 9) ended with the call for ‘No more Avoidable Blindness’, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) has invited key players in the South East Asia region for a workshop on bringing down avoidable blindness by 25 per cent by the year 2019. The workshop is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional workshop and will be held at the LV Prasad Eye Institute.

Research shows that four out of five visually impaired people can avoid being in that situation. In May 2013, the WHO launched a ‘Global Action Plan’ for the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, focusing on delivering ‘Universal Eye Health’ over the next five years. The action plan urges member nations to bring the rate of blindness and visual impairment down by 25 per cent by 2019. It focuses on generating evidence, developing deeper integration of eye health with wider health systems and building multi-sectoral partnerships to meet its goals.

(From left) Peter Ackland, Dr Taraprasad Das and Dr Gullapalli N Rao addressing the conference

Three WHO regions – Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas and the Western Pacific - have developed regional action plans to deliver on this vision. The WHO South East Asia Region will now hold a regional workshop to consult and build a regional plan for this region too. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is working with partners to help draw eye health expertise from 11 countries in the South East region, and to draw attention to the fact that governments are key to ensuring access to quality eye health services and eliminating avoidable blindness.

This workshop which started on Tuesday will conclude on Thursday. With 64 delegates, participants include IAPB’s CEO Peter Ackland.

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