The Western Pacific Region covers a wide mix of countries in the Pacific, Oceania and parts of Asia. With a population of more than 1.7 billion people, the region stretches over a vast area, from China and Mongolia in the north, to New Zealand in the south.
Cataract still accounts for the majority of blindness in most countries of the region and myopia and other forms of refractive error represent the main cause of visual impairment. Both conditions can be easily treated, with cost-effective interventions.
In many Western Pacific countries the infectious eye disease trachoma has been eliminated as a public health problem, but research, surveillance and programmes continue in several hot-spots. With a large ageing population, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye diseases are also significant causes of vision loss in the Western Pacific, and call for new care strategies and services to manage low vision.
Across the Western Pacific, more training, programmes, health promotion, services and research are required to achieve the three objectives of the regional commitment: Towards Universal Eye Health: A Regional Action Plan for the Western Pacific (2014-2019).
Led by a Regional Chair and small team, IAPB works with stakeholders across the Western Pacific to:
- Advocate for the development and implementation of national eye health plans, and initiatives to strengthen health systems
- Bring stakeholders together to share information, identify priorities and plan for blindness prevention at national and regional levels
- Deliver capacity-building workshops on advocacy, coordination and planning
- Support research to inform policy and planning
- Promote and support data collection and effective programme monitoring
For more information on our work, view IAPB’s Western Pacific Regional Strategy.