On 24 May 2022, The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Philippines country office hosted the IAPB 2030 In Sight event in Makati City, Philippines. IAPB’s Western Pacific Regional Coordinator Drew Keys conducted a hybrid workshop to discuss how eye health can be integrated in the Universal Healthcare, using the frameworks of IAPB’s 2030 In Sight, and the World Health Organization’s Integrated People’s Eye Care framework.
Local government stakeholders from the provinces of Benguet, Sorsogon, and Capiz joined the workshop, including Capiz Governor Esteban Evan Contreras. These provinces are the future sites for The Foundation’s upcoming project called Advancing Integrated People-Centred Eye Care (AIPEC). They were joined virtually by provincial partners from Antique, Negros Oriental, Oriental Mindoro, and Quezon, where The Foundation is currently supporting the Department of Health’s Community Eye Health Program (CEHP).
Other guest speakers in the workshop included WHO Western Pacific Region Non-communicable Disease Coordinator, Dr Enrique Domingo and the Chairperson of the National Committee for Sight Preservation, Dr Noel Chua.
“In the Philippines, there is a strong history of support for the eye health sector. The very first meeting in the world which discusses these topics from a provincial perspective is here today, it’s here in the Philippines. Not only is it an important meeting for progressing eye health and projects here in the country but it’s also an important learning for all of us around the world as we look towards ending avoidable sight loss by 2030,” Mr Keys said.
The next day, the provincial teams headed to Tarlac Province to visit the province’s Linaw Tingin Program, an award-winning eye health program. The visit gave insight on the different ways eye health programs can be delivered and contextualized in different provinces.
“The Fred Hollows Foundation is privileged to work with WHO, IAPB, the Department of Health, and other stakeholders in the eye sector to ensure that all Filipinos have access to quality eye healthcare. We will continue working together to end avoidable blindness,” The Foundation’s Philippines Country Manager Dr Mavi Rondaris said.