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What is integrated people-centred eye care (IPEC)?

Integrated people-centred eye care (IPEC) has the potential to address many challenges to delivering effective eye care services.

What is IPEC?

Integrated people-centred eye care (IPEC):

  • is defined as services that are managed and delivered so that people receive a continuum of health interventions covering promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation
  • is coordinated across the different levels and sites of care within and beyond the health sector
  • recognises people as participants and beneficiaries of these services, throughout their life course.

The implementation of integrated people-centred eye care requires four strategies to ensure people get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

Select the arrows below to learn more.

Illustration of around 100 diverse people inside a large speech bubble

Empowering and engaging people and communities

We need to help people become active users of eye care services and reach underserved and marginalised communities.

Improving access to and quality of eye care services and education are key ways to achieve this.

Woman in an office getting her vision tested by a nurse who is pointing to a letter on a chart

Reorienting the model of care towards primary care

We need to move more eye care services to primary level to improve efficiency and bring services closer to where patients live.

Patient talking to doctor in diabetes clinic

Coordinating services within and across sectors

Eye care services need to be better coordinated between primary, secondary and tertiary eye health services, the broader health system and with other sectors, such as education and labour.


Four members of IPEC work group in discussion around a meeting table

Creating an enabling environment

Leadership plays a vital role in IPEC, including developing a eye care strategic plan and overseeing the plan’s implementation.

IPEC also depends on services provided by the health workforce and the data generated by health information systems.

Integration within and beyond health system

In IPEC, services must be coordinated across the different levels and sites of care within and beyond the health sector.

IPEC builds upon and extends previous strategic plans for eye health system development, that promoted integrating eye health with health and non-health sectors and strengthening of primary eye-care services.

The following diagram is based on figure 17 in The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health (Burton et al., 2021).

Person-centred eye care services

IPEC aims for improved service delivery, care experiences and outcomes.

People should be empowered as effective users and beneficiaries of eye health services. This should continue throughout all stages of their lives and as their health needs change.

Select each tab below to learn more about person-centred eye care services.

Respects the person’s preferences, needs and values.

Coordinated across health services and providers.

Minimizes any delays in services and avoids a waste of resources and repetition.

Services are equally available to all, regardless of gender, location, or social status.

Minimizes complications, errors and harm.

Based on scientific knowledge and evidence-based guidelines.

Primary eye care services

When implementing IPEC, primary eye care must be included in primary health care. An example is eye care training for nurses in local medical clinics.

Primary eye care is needed in all countries as it connects eye health with the wider primary health system.

Primary care staff such as doctors and nurses need to identify eye health problems and refer patients to specialized eye care services when required.


Leadership and governance

Sustained leadership and governance are required in IPEC to develop a strategic plan based on the current situation in eye care in a country, manage accountability and oversee the plan’s implementation.

Eye care planning should be led by the national eye health committee or working group, who will lead and provide technical input for IPEC.


Moving towards IPEC

The IPEC Cycle shown here includes the four general phases for advocating for and moving towards IPEC.

The situation in each country is different, so these phases are not always conducted in succession.

However, they can provide general guidance to move ahead towards IPEC.

Select each of the tiles below to learn more.

Further resources

Introduction to IPEC is a free, self-paced elearning course which will deepen your understanding of what integrated people-centred (IPEC) is, what it aims to achieve and why it is important.

This engaging, interactive course is now available – select this link to learn more and sign up.

A central reference point for initiating policy dialogues in countries and includes key information, tools, templates and resources for IPEC.

Access the IAPB IPEC Advocacy to Action Toolkit here.

The Eye care in health systems: guide for action from the World Health Organization, was launched in May 2022 and provides guidance on creating an eye care strategic plan to strengthen eye health within countries.

Access the Guide for Action here.

These tools were all launched in 2021 and 2022:

  • Eye Care Situation Analysis Tool (ECSAT): The ECSAT intends to support countries in the planning, monitoring of trends and the evaluation of progress towards implementing IPEC. More information is available here.
  • Package of Eye Care Interventions: A World Health Organisation resource which contains evidence-based eye care interventions that can be used by countries to plan (i.e., which interventions to prioritize), budget and integrate eye care interventions at all service delivery platforms. Access the Package of Eye Care Interventions here.
  • Eye Care Indicator Menu: Provides technical guidance and a tool to facilitate the collection data on the global indicators by Member States. Access the Eye Care Indicator Menu here.
  • Eye care competency framework: A tool that conveys the expected performance of the eye care workforce across primary to tertiary levels of health care. It aims to used as a comprehensive reference for workforce planning and development. Access the Eye care competency framework here.

The 74th World Health Assembly resolution in 2021 adopted global targets for 2030 for effective cataract surgical coverage (eCSC) and effective refractive error coverage (eREC).

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