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2023 in Review: Latin America – Growing our network

Published: 17.11.2023
Luisa Casas-Luque Regional Coordinator Latin America
Francisco Castro-Martinez Regional Chair Latin America
Kinder Garden Service in México/Jorge Guzmán

The focus in Latin America in 2023 has been on growing the IAPB network as we build out the implementation of 2030 In Sight strategy. This all takes place as we head towards a Global Event in Mexico City – an activity that has ignited awareness and passion in the region and so its fair to say that IAPB in Latin America is charging ahead! 

Highlight activities for 2023 included: 
• A regional meeting held in Buenos Aires in March – on the side-lines of the congress of the Pan American Academy of Ophthalmology (PAAO) 
Signing an accord with PAAO to deepen and strengthen our relationship 
A meeting for Brazil stakeholders in Sao Paulo in March 
• Inception of a pilot Systems leadership project in Latin America with National Discovery Activities taking place in four countries. 
• World Sight Day events conducted by all members and right across Latin America. 
We have worked to create awareness with regional governments of their political commitments at the World Health Assembly and UN and the ways in which the members and IAPB can support them: 
• In Colombia we engaged the Secretary of Health, Bogota and a broad cross-section of stakeholders to develop a national committee 
• In Argentina the government has ratified World Sight Day as a National day 
• Paraguay has been a particular support to advocacy efforts around Refractive Error in Geneva 
• Our members Fundacion Vision conducted a Community Eye Health course in Paraguay in October which further focussed attention on the country’s leading role in the region. 
Over the past few months our membership in the region has almost doubled. This year we’ve seen our first members in Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia plus been joined by new friends from Colombia, Peru and Mexico. There is definite excitement in the region and a clear recognition of the benefits of the 2030 In Sight strategy – especially through the work of the Systems Leadership project. A big thanks to all those members who joined in the global World Sight Day activities. Pledge of the year: Instituto Suel from Brazil with 380,000 tests pledged. 
Thank you for your ongoing support and advice. We wish you a relaxing end to 2023 and look forward to seeing you in Mexico City in 2024. How amazing to have 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE in our region! 

Image on top: Kinder Garden Service in México/Jorge Guzmán