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Eye Health and Universal Health Coverage

Strengthened health systems are essential to scaling-up eye health and reaching those most in need.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. UHC is a global priority for the WHO, and the linchpin of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

The WHO’s strategy for achieving UHC is to implement integrated people-centred health services. This means putting the comprehensive needs of people and communities, not only diseases, at the centre of health systems, and empowering people to have a more active role in their own health.

The World Health Organization has made strengthening integrated people-centred eye care integral to its plan to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).

Global commitments to Eye Health and Universal Health Coverage

In 2019, IAPB together with the United Nations Friends of Vision successfully lobbied for the inclusion of eye health in the first Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage. Heads of States Heads of State committed to strengthen efforts to address eye health conditions as part of UHC. View the resolution here. This is an important milestone for the global eye health community as it recognises that UHC cannot be achieved without eye health.

In 2020, this commitment was further strengthened by a World Health Assembly Resolution on Integrated People Centred Eye Care. The resolution requires all countries to make eye care an integral part of universal health coverage and to adopt the recommendations of the World Report on Vision, specifically to implement integrated people centred eye care into their national health systems.

View the resolution here.

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Photo Credits

Banner image: Sunita Kunwar K.C., Tilganga Institute of Opthalmology