2022 was a year where we as a sector were able to move beyond the screens of Zoom and convene in person to discuss plans on how to implement the two new indicators adopted by the WHO in 2021 and embed the 2030 in Sight strategy in our work. I was delighted to be at 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE at Dubai in March and see how all of us are raring to go to achieve our goals.
Here are my top three highlights:
West Africa Health Organization: Regional reporting against Eye Health Indicators
At a meeting of National Health Information Officers in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) it was agreed to integrate eye health indicators into their regional level reporting. The 15 members states of the ECOWAS region will subsequently be required to report against specific eye health indicators at the national level in order to meet the regional reporting requirements.
Strengthening Primary Eye Care
IAPB signed a partnership agreement with the East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nurses (ECSACON) around the strengthening of Primary Eye Care in ECSACON member states. As an executing arm of the ECSA Health Community, ECSACON is charged with the responsibility of promoting and strengthening professional excellence in nursing and midwifery in the ECSA region. ECSACON has agreed to integrate Primary Eye Care training, based on the WHO AFRO Primary Eye Care Training Manual, into their pre-service and in-service nursing curricula. ECSACON will target their 2,000 members across 16 member states with this training.
Sub-Regional 2030 In Sight Workshop
In July, IAPB held a sub-regional workshop focussing on the East and Southern Africa region in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting brought together 45 participants with representation from World Health Organization AFRO, IAPB member agencies, IAPB Partners and National Ministries of Health from within sub-region.
The workshop equipped stakeholders in the sub-region with the knowledge and technical resources to deliver the 2030 IN SIGHT strategy and develop national level implementation plans.
Throughout the programme, participants unpacked the three pillars of the 2030 In Sight strategy: Elevate, Integrate and Activate. They were exposed to the various mechanisms and resources available to implement each and then they workshopped national level implementation plans for each pillar.
The outcome of the meeting was to have country plans around the implementation of each respective 2030 IN SIGHT pillar. These plans are held by the Ministry of Health representatives and supported by the members. Stakeholders also committed to those activities which they had the capacity to undertake in the pursuit of the implementation of 2030 IN SIGHT.
It is difficult to condense the entire year into these top three as it would be remiss of me not to mention our new partnership with Novartis, our successful Love Your Eyes campaign with an activation being launched in Kenya, trachoma elimination in Malawi, CHOGM in Rwanda, our Africa-centric Advocacy to Action event and so much more.
We have a lot in store for 2023 that I can’t wait to unveil. Do make sure if you aren’t already you subscribe to our quarterly Africa newsletter for more updates on the region. Just in case you have a story that maybe of interest to the region/membership send it to us here .
Image on top: Smiling after getting the patch off/Stephen Egesa/The Fred Hollows Foundation