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After the IAPB Regional Meeting in July in Hyderabad, one the main action points was to act on translating the global resolutions on eye health into national eye health policy and plans. To do so, IAPB South East Asia was in constant contact with its members and Ministries of Health.
The first of its kind event took place in Sri Lank on 28 November 2022. In this consultation meeting, Hon. Health Minister of Sri Lanka represented by Director General of health Services Dr Asela Gunawardana, Ministry of Health Sri Lanka was presented with South East Asia Action Plan on Integrated People Centred Eye Care (IPEC).
He officially declared its launch and that it will be adopted in National eye care policy and plan of Sri Lanka. However, he mentioned Sri Lanka is recovering from economic recession and the global pandemic, and that it may not allocate adequate resources instantly though it will be willing to provide equitable and accessible eye care for those in need in Sri Lanka. National Professional officer, Dr Virginie Mallawaarachchi, WHO Country office expressed their commitment to support IPEC implementation. Other speakers in the meeting were Deputy Director General of NCD, Ministry of Health, IAPB Regional Chair Dr Rohit Khanna and I, expressing our commitment to support the development of a strategic plan embedding 2030 In Sight and the WHO resolutions recommendations in the process of IPEC implementation in national eye health policy and plan.
In the meeting, WHO SEARO presented the Regional Action Plan that has been endorsed by the regional committee of WHO member states of the region. The WHO HQ team presented the WHA resolutions and what it means to member states and the WHO tools which will act as a guide to implement IPEC.