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By Zoe Gray | On Tuesday 17th May 2016 | 0 Comments

Phaco post-op in Petit-Goâve, Haiti by Timothy Fuller

IAPB has been active in influencing the development of the WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health (GSAP) to be considered for adoption this May at the World Health Assembly. This has included contributing to consultations with some issues successfully taken up. Speaking with members of the WHO ageing and life-course team at the consultation in Geneva in October last year, their feedback to me was very promising about attention to eye health; and the draft GSAP reflects this.  

Importantly the GSAP emphasises the importance of preserving or restoring people’s ‘intrinsic capacities’ such as sight and hearing amongst others, and when impairments or health conditions are permanent ensuring the right enabling environments (physical, policy, social) so that people can live well later in life.

The GSAP acknowledges that problems that frequently affect older persons including loss of sight and hearing are often missed by health professionals. It emphasises that there can be lack of guidance in recognizing and managing impairments and geriatric syndromes and also that early markers of functional decline are often not noticed for timely treatment. It stresses that the needs of older persons be addressed in a person-centred...

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By Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota | On Monday 9th May 2016 | 0 Comments

VISION 2020 Sri Lanka workshop, May 2016

In collaboration with IAPB South East Asia, VISION 2020 Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Health organized a national workshop on eye health action plan from 6 to 7 May, 2016. The main objective of the workshop was to come up with suggestions for the amendment on Sri Lanka’s National Eye Health Action Plan 2013 – 2018, based on the findings obtained from their most recent blindness survey conducted in 2014-2015 and to also incorporate WHO Global Action Plan monitoring indicators in it.

In the meeting Dr Palitha Mahipala, Director General of Health Services officially handed over the Report of Blindness Survey to IAPB. The Blindness survey was carried out by MoH Sri Lanka, with financial and technical support from various IAPB members, including International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, CBM, Sight Savers and Indian Institute of Public Health, Hyderabad.  The survey shows the prevalence of blindness in Sri Lanka as 1.7% among the age 40+ population. Similarly, the survey revealed that 1.6 % and 15.4% severe visual impairment and visual impairment among the study population.

The prevalence of blindness rate varies between provinces from...

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By David Green | On Friday 29th April 2016 | 0 Comments

image courtesy: He Eye Hospital

In 2010, Deutsche Bank and IAPB together launched ‘Eye Fund 1’ to provide affordable long-term debt financing for eye care programmes to accelerate the expansion of their activities through investments in equipment and facilities. In parallel, IAPB created a capacity building grant fund to provide technical assistance and training to help eye care programmes to become financially sustainable while serving high volumes of poor patients at affordable prices.

Deutsche Bank is now exploring the feasibility of for creating ‘Eye Fund 2’.  By filling out the downloadable survey tool, you will help Deutsche Bank to understand your organization’s needs for both debt financing (borrowing) and grant financing for technical assistance.

Borrowers in Eye Fund 1 used their loans to significantly expand their service capacity to treat low-income individuals, increasing annual treatments and surgeries by 70% and performing over 427,000 treatments and 50,000 sight-restoring surgeries in 2014 alone.  Borrowers have now substantially repaid their loans and, by the end of 2016,...

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By Tom Rosewall | On Friday 29th April 2016 | 0 Comments

Zaina, Vision for a Nation Foundation

In the summer of 2015, I was visiting a rural health center in Rwanda’s Eastern Province. I found myself sitting next to an elderly gentleman called Frederic. Much to my surprise I discovered that he was 92 and had walked for 8 hours to reach the health center to have his eyes checked. Frederic had probably struggled to see clearly for at least 40 years, but could now receive a simple pair of reading glasses that would make his life that little bit easier.

Vision for a Nation Foundation (VFAN) was established to help people like Frederic to receive the vital eye care they need. We launched our first national program in Rwanda in 2012. Since then, we have helped the Ministry of Health to build nationwide primary eye care services that are fully integrated and financially self-sustaining. Eye care is now available to all Rwandans at each of the country’s 502 local health centers. And we have launched an unprecedented national outreach program that extends the services to 100% of Rwanda’s 15,000 villages – making it much easier for people, like Frederic, to access help.

One of the central innovations of the program is a primary eye care training curriculum designed by Dr. Ciku Mathenge with support from VFAN and the Fred Hollows Foundation. This three-day training course...

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