Skip to content

2023 in Review: Western Pacific – Implementing the strategy

Published: 17.11.2023
Drew Keys Regional Manager Western Pacific
Losena removes her bandage/Samuel Murray

After the “Revival Year of 2022” in which we spent time delivering the message around 2030 In Sight, 2023 has been the year of implementation. It’s also the year in which the Global Event – in the guise of 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE – came to our region and it was terrific to see so many of you in person in Singapore. 
Throughout the year 2030 In Sight embed activities have taken place with a focus on ensuring that the fundamental links between the strategy, the World Report on Vision, the World Health Assembly and United Nations General Assembly resolutions are well-understood. It’s also been imperative to see 2030 In Sight through a systems change lens – not that this is necessarily something different to what we are already doing, but as a way of conceptualising the implementation of such a transformational strategy. We have focussed efforts on developing exemplar activities in two countries as a way of demonstrating to the sector the efficacy of the approach: 
• Laos – where we’re working with all IAPB stakeholders to model a new way of working stronger together. 
• Papua New Guinea – where we’ve reviewed the National Prevention of Blindness Committee with a view to an adapted Terms of Reference for the 2030 In Sight period 

We also committed to supporting the development of an Advocacy Network in the Pacific Islands. This will be co-led by our colleagues at PacEYES and provide a sub-regional forum for online sharing around advocacy developments, data collection and political engagement. 
We have continued raising awareness with regional members, stakeholders and governments by undertaking 2030 In Sight presentations and workshops: 
• APAO – a focus on IPEC amongst ophthalmologists and on Cataract Surgical Outcomes 
• RANZCO – a focus on how eye health practitioners can get involved in leadership activities in the Pacific Islands 
• WHO WPRO – working towards DR on the Regional Committee meeting agenda in 2024. 
The relationship with WHO WPRO continues to be strong: there was significant engagement from WPRO (and WHO as a whole) in Singapore and we are aligning our priority areas of activity for the new year. Excitingly Western Pacific hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Samoa, next year – this has meant a particular aligning of engagement activities across the region with a special consultation committee established to support Vision For the Commonwealth efforts. Thanks to the Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand for their leadership and support in developing this network. 
Finally, the year culminated in World Sight Day. Once again, huge numbers of pledges flooded in from the region. Highlights, included 1.7million tests pledged by Shanghai Eye Disease Prevention and Treatment Centre and in Malaysia the Director General of Health pledged 800,000 tests – once again, the only pledge from a Ministry worldwide. Of course, this year was about Love Your Eyes at Work – lots of events were held across the region but two standout: the Fred Hollows Foundation Australia lived their work holding an awareness raising event on World Sight Day for all staff; Santen chaired an online special World Sight Day discussion – our first online material in Japanese! 
Thank you all for your hard work in 2023. Welcome to our new members – the Malaysian Optometry Association – and thank you to everyone who has been involved in activities this year. We remain especially grateful for the continued support of our regional sponsors at the Fred Hollows Foundation, at Yonsei University and at LabSD. 

Image on top: Losena removes her bandage/Samuel Murray