This year has quietly sowed the seeds of big, systemic shifts in the eye health sector. Change is in the air. We have the tailwind of the first UN resolution on vision cementing our place in the development agenda. We now have a new, ten-year strategy for the sector and it nurtures great ambition tied deeply with our ability to deliver success and building new partnerships across the health and development sectors.
At the launch of the new strategy, Babar Qureshi, IAPB’s Vice-President, and I wrote that: “We are facing a myriad of interrelated global challenges: the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath, deepening social inequalities, the impact of climate change, an ageing population and an increase in non-communicable diseases.” We are pushing for the success of the Sustainable Development Goals agenda by unlocking human potential—where possible, through good eyesight. As we do so, we are pushing to ensure that everyone has access to eye care and rehabilitation services they need.
How do we do this? We elevate eye health as a fundamental economic, social and development issue; integrate within wider health care and activate consumer demand and market change.
This is the decade of disruption – the power of collective intention and collaboration. This can be achieved and therefore I am more hopeful and excited for what is to come.
The pandemic has been unimaginably difficult for all of us. And yet, I am ending the year with a lot of hope and excitement for the future, and I hope you are too.
This year’s annual review should give you a sense of the remarkable journey we’ve been on, together. Please do read and share it with your colleagues. I wish you and your loved ones a happy new year!