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IAPB Blog

By Saloni Nagpaul | On Friday 26th August 2016 | 0 Comments

Optometry Giving Sight is a global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error – simply the need for an eye exam and a pair of glasses. 

 

Optometry Giving Sight infographic

 

To know more about Optometry Giving Sight, visit their site . 

The mission of Optometry Giving Sight - Training, establishing vision centres, delivering eye care and low cost glasses, child eye health programmes and schools of optometry / optometry programmes

By Damian Facciolo | On Wednesday 24th August 2016 | 0 Comments

Young school going girl wearing spectacles smiling

 

The private sector is a critical player in eye health: that statement should surprise no-one. Private companies produce and sell lenses, spectacles and devices; private clinics and hospitals provide treatments; private insurance companies sometimes pick up the bill. These inputs have a huge impact on public eye health and blindness prevention.

The interesting question is: how are these products and services funded, managed and regulated within the broader health system?

In many countries of the Western Pacific, most refractive services and the provision of spectacles is conducted by private providers, some with very basic training who rely mainly on autorefractors. Service quality is patchy, and in many contexts there is data to show that the wrong lenses are being prescribed. How do we improve the quality of these services? Regulation is complicated, and then difficult to enforce. Incentives and softer solutions like subsidized training, minimum standards, the professionalization of optometry and stronger professional bodies are being developed in several countries across the region.

The private sector helps to expand choice and access. In the Philippines, national health insurance has reduced financial barriers to cataract surgery. For-profit providers now dominate this service space (for more...

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By Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota | On Thursday 28th July 2016 | 2 Comments

Taking an eye test outdoors in Timor-LesteTimor-Leste in South East Asia--current listed as one of the poorest nations in the world—became an independent state in 1999. The country is divided into 13 administrative districts and 65 sub districts with a predominantly rural population of 1,257, 613 (Census data 2010) people. Timor-Leste has one referral hospital, in Dili, the capital. The hospital has an eye clinic and offers cataract surgery and refraction services. Elsewhere, there are two provincial eye clinics providing primary eye-care and refraction.

The first RAAB survey conducted in 2005 in Timor-Leste showed blindness prevalence at 4.1%, and visual impairment 17.7% among the population aged 40 and over. Cataract and refractive error are the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment. More than 80% of blindness was found to be either preventable or treatable. This blindness and visual impairment rate is one of the highest in the region. Since then, with the support of international partners (mainly Fred Hollows Foundation, New Zealand and Royal College of Australasian College of Surgeons), eye care services in Timor have been developed, with a focus on human resource development and the setting up of a National Eye Centre in Timor, with extensive mobile outreach eye care activities in the country.

Currently, Timor-Leste has no up-to-date information on the magnitude of...

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By James Chen | On Thursday 14th July 2016 | 0 Comments

James Chen getting an eye test

It is no secret to members of the IAPB that there are 2.5 billion people around the world suffering from poor vision with no means of improving it. However, to the rest of the world the news of this hidden, unaddressed disability is astounding.

The need to highlight this issue on a global scale is one of the key aims behind my decision to launch a new global campaign, to help the world to see – Clearly.

Clearly is the culmination of my long journey to improve access to vision correction. It all started when I spent time in Africa growing up and saw first-hand the desperate need for people to get access to vision correction. This passion grew when I discovered the potential of adjustable glasses and founded Adlens.

Eight years ago I founded Vision for a Nation. We launched a programme in Rwanda four years ago and today, every Rwandan citizen has access to primary eye care in each of the 502 health centers across the country. Each center is staffed by at least two nurses trained to provide basic treatment, including glasses for $1.50, and to refer patients with more complex conditions to eye specialists at local hospitals. This groundbreaking national program has supported the Rwandan Ministry of Health to provide all of the country’s 10.5 million people with access to local and affordable eye care....

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