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We can simplify the understanding by disaggregating the term “Integrated People-centred Eye Care” into “Integrated” and “People-centred”
Integrated means eye health care which includes all aspects of health care i.e. promotive, preventive, treatment and rehabilitative for all eye conditions.
It is about integrating eye care into the mainstream health system. This involves incorporating eye care into national planning and policies.
Integrated means that the eye health services are in proximity to the people and community and are coordinated across different levels of health care delivery.
Integrated also means that eye health is taken into account in the planning of other development sectors like education, labour and gender.
People-centred care means services that focus on the needs of individuals. It ensures that people’s preferences, needs and values guide health care decisions. The people-centred approach provides care that is respectful of and responsive to the people.
It is about “what matters to you” rather than “what’s the matter with you”.
Therefore, the eye care service which includes all aspects of health care for all the eye conditions is integrated into health systems and in sectors beyond health; and deliver services that are considerate to people’s need, preference and values; and ensures a continuum of care throughout a lifetime is called the Integrated People-centered Eye Care.
We need integrated people-centred eye care for the following 3 major reasons:
We can put IPEC into practice by following the recommendations of the WHO World Report on Vision.
Putting IPEC into practice starts with advocating for IPEC. So, start advocating about IPEC to the planners and policymakers in the countries from your level to the possible extent. But before advocacy, make sure that you are familiar with IPEC. Learn about IPEC from the Introduction to IPEC online course. The World report on vision and The Lancet Global Health Commission on global eye health are the primary documents with detailed descriptions of IPEC.
The recommended way for informing and persuading policymakers about this fundamental change in the delivery of eye care services is the policy dialogues. National-level policy dialogue with the major government stakeholders is the inception and endorsement of IPEC implementation.
The policy dialogue is key to acquiring commitment from the government and policymakers to the desired change. While a single policy dialogue meeting may formally begin the journey towards IPEC, it is useful to think of policy dialogue as a “process” that will likely consist of a series of meetings over time.
To know more about how to advocate for IPEC, IAPB is launching the IPEC Advocacy to Action Toolkit soon.