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National Advocacy Networks for Eye Health in Zambia and Ghana

Published: 26.03.2024
Kristine Nyabera Africa Programme Officer
National Advocacy Networks

Visual impairment is a significant health issue in Africa, with prevalent eye conditions like trachoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and uncorrected refractive errors. Despite the existence of cost-effective interventions, many in need don’t access them due to various health system challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, limited eye health care professionals, and low prioritization by governments. To address these issues, regional and in country mechanisms are crucial, including technical support, advocacy for eye health, sharing best practices, capacity building, and resource mobilization. Hence, the establishment of the Eye Health National Advocacy Networks by the Partners Consortium, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and the support partner, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

With Ghana and Zambia selected as IAPB’s focus countries, IAPB supported the creation of Eye Health National Advocacy Networks in both countries. These networks aim to serve as collaborative platforms to advocate for action on eye health and coordinate advocacy efforts for maximum impact.

In March, IAPB supported both countries in organizing their inaugural network inception meetings. During these meetings, network memberships were established, and members were educated on the concept of a National Advocacy Network. The members of these networks agreed upon the network’s structure, including the leadership of the group, terms of reference, resource needs, and working modalities.

IAPB will continue to work closely with both Zambia and Ghana National Advocacy Networks for Eye Health to develop situational analysis of eye health within their country and agree on advocacy priorities for eye health which the network will come up with planned processes to elevate the priorities across different sectors to ensure universal access to eye health.