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By Tejah Balantrapu | On Friday 26th June 2015 | 0 Comments

Uptick

The IAPB website is poised to mark an internal milestone – 2 million views since launch. What is even more encouraging for us is the fact that we managed to halve the time it took us to reach the second million – the first million took us 16 months, while the second took just 8. The website’s growth is coinciding with our steadily growing numbers on two of our main ‘outreach’ activities – our newsletters (VISION 2020 Newsletter and IAPB Focus) and our social media presence (Twitter and Facebook, primarily, but also LinkedIn ).

We know that you come to the IAPB website looking to find information that is accurate and useful for your advocacy and planning – indeed, this is a key strategic aim for IAPB. This idea animates the choices we make on the website. Historically, the website has hosted key blindness data from the WHO (and now, also from the...

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By Robin Percy | On Thursday 18th June 2015 | 0 Comments
IAPB Regional Workshop, Vienna
Vienna, a city packed with imperial history, was the site for the IAPB regional workshop on the Global Action Plan: ‘Towards Universal Eye Health in Europe’, held with the support of our WHO partners. This workshop brought together the Heads of National Societies of Ophthalmology from across Europe to discuss the Global Action Plan, look at its relevance in their countries and to identify what needed to be done to turn the plan into action when they get home.
 
It was a fascinating meeting with 21 countries represented, covering a vast slice of the globe – from Ireland, to Norway, to Turkey, to Russia. I think this was the first time that IAPB has arranged a regional meeting for representatives from every country in Europe and from the enthusiastic response of participants they truly appreciated the opportunity to work together. 
 
We were lucky to have Hugh Taylor with us, with his wealth of experience, and both Peter Ackland and Ivo Kocur who spoke about the experience of rolling out the GAP in other regions. 
 
By the end of the workshop every representative had committed to speaking to those with influence and decision making power in their countries to make them aware of the GAP and what needed to be done. The message for us all was that each person had a...
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By Peter Ackland | On Wednesday 17th June 2015 | 0 Comments
Eye screening, India. Image courtesy: LVPEI
I am delighted to note – as I am sure you are – that a new report jointly authored by the WHO and the World Bank includes Cataract Surgical Coverage (CSC) as a ‘promising’ indicator for monitoring Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Firstly, it’s a fantastic report; strong research, keen arguments and accessible to a wide(r) audience. 
 
The report charts the importance of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and how fundamental the concept is to the achievement of the health goal that will be included in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September (You can read more about the report and the CSC inclusion here). 
 
I have been working with Hans Limburg and many friends in putting together the data and graphs to present our case to this team for many months. Indeed, it is great to note that the report includes a fair chunk of our recommendations. For example, on pages 32 and 33 of the report there is a detailed section on CSC showing data provided by IAPB. CSC is also highlighted in some important sections of the...
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By Luis Perez | On Wednesday 3rd June 2015 | 0 Comments
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) convened their annual meeting of eye care managers from Ministries of Health from across Latin America and the Caribbean on 12th and 13th May in Panama City.  This was an important gathering; it was the first meeting following the adoption of the Regional Action Plan for 2014-2019.  Juan Carlos Silva, PAHO presented an overview of current eye care strategies as well as the crucial requirement for accurate data for countries to monitor the effectiveness of their programmes in terms of the indicators within the regional plan.  Member countries presented their key features of eye care services and identified their key priorities for action.  All signed up to the central priority for good data and reporting.
 PAHO meet, participants from Panama in May 2015
For IAPB and our members these were powerful advocacy intentions.  During our partners’ side-meetings, we all committed to support data gathering and reporting – we agreed the importance of supporting national PBL committees, of supporting RAABs for prevalence data and repeat RAABs (about seven years after a first RAAB to identify progress). We also agreed to support the eye care services assessment tool (ECSAT) to assess the strengths of eye care services within the national health system.  A strong...
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