Leading Blindness Prevention Efforts Worldwide
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) was established in 1975 as a coordinating, umbrella organisation to lead international efforts in blindness prevention activities. Its first major achievement was to promote the establishment of a WHO programme for prevention of blindness, with which it has remained strongly linked, and which is now embodied in the global initiative, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight.
A world in which no one is needlessly blind or visually impaired and where those with unavoidable vision loss can achieve their full potential.
IAPB’s mission is to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness and visual impairment by bringing together governments and non-governmental agencies to facilitate the planning, development and implementation of sustainable national eye care programmes based on the three core strategies of disease control, human resource development and infrastructure development, incorporating the principles of primary health care.
IAPB promotes the global initiative VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, which aims to eliminate the main causes of avoidable blindness by the year 2020.
Within the mandate of combating avoidable blindness, the Agency has major objectives. These are:
- Disseminating ideas and information on successful approaches to eye care delivery.
- Increasing public awareness of needs and solutions so that one country may be assisted by the experiences and resources of another.
- Supporting the WHO programme and its strategies through close dialogue, mobilisation of resources and evaluation of activities.
IAPB works to encourage the formation of national prevention of blindness committees and programmes, led by governments with input from the WHO, local and international non-governmental organisations. These now exist in over eighty countries.
IAPB is currently in the process of developing its new strategic plan for 2013-2016. This will involve reviewing our Vision and Mission statements and defining our strategic aim and objectives. The plan is expected to be approved by end of April 2013. Watch this space.