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Launch of the WHO SPECS 2030 initiative, including the inaugural meeting of the Global SPECS Network


Event Details

Start Time:
14th May 2024 - 8:00 am
End Time:
15th May 2024 - 6:00 pm
WHO headquarters, Geneva Switzerland
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Uncorrected refractive error is the leading cause of vision impairment in child and adult populations. Globally, it is estimated that only 36% of people with a distance vision impairment due to refractive error have received access to an appropriate pair of spectacles, while more than 800 million people have a near vision impairment (i.e. presbyopia) that could be addressed with a pair of reading spectacles.

In recognition of the large unmet need for care, coupled with the fact a highly cost-effective intervention exists (i.e. spectacles), WHO Member States endorsed the first-ever global target for refractive target for refractive error at the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly (2021). Specifically, the global target is a 40 percentage point increase in effective coverage of refractive error by 2030.

To support Member States with the achievement of the global target, WHO is launching the SPECS 2030 initiative. The event will bring together key stakeholders with the objectives to:

  1. Formally launch the WHO SPECS 2030 initiative and welcome the inaugural members of the Global SPECS Network.
  2. Inform participants on WHO’s progress with the WHO SPECS 2030 initiative, including an introduction to new technical resources to support implementation of the initiative.
  3. Present, and receive feedback, on the draft workplans of the Global SPECS Network workstreams.
  4. Discuss opportunities and prioritize next steps for a) the Global SPECS Network members, and b) Secretariat.
    Date: 14–15 May 2024

Location: WHO headquarters, Geneva Switzerland

Participation: By invitation. The meeting will be held in-person.