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Eye health promotion in challenging times

Global Conference on Health Promotion - Eye health promotion in challenging times

Eye health promotion in challenging times – Panel Discussion at the 10th Global Conference on Health Promotion

Date: Tuesday, 14th December

Time: 11:30 – 12:30 CET

IAPB is convening a panel discussion at the Health Promotion Forum of the 10th Global Conference on Health Promotion for Well-being, Equity and Sustainable Development, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), on 14 Dec 2021. The participant in the conference includes high-level policy makers and advisers from various sectors, UN and international organizations; civil society, international financial institutions and foundations; research community; and members of national parliaments.

This event is a global opportunity for eye health sector to connect with the wider range of health sectors and increase awareness on the importance of eye health promotion during the critical times.

The challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic disclosed to the eye health services, sparked a surge and expansion of innovative solutions to promote healthy vision and reach those most in need. In this session we reflect on the things we got right, and wrong, and how these lessons can be applied across health promotion initiatives.

Follow the WHO 10th GCHP portal to register to the event and participate in the panel discussion live with the renowned speakers on eye health.



Peter Holland

Peter Holland

CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

Peter, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, started his career in the NHS, spending 10 years developing primary services in south London before joining the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His roles there included postings to India, senior policy roles on counter narcotics and Afghanistan, and negotiating international intellectual property agreements. Since leaving the Civil Service, he has been Group Head of Strategy at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Chief Executive of OPM Group. He brings extensive experience of leading in major organisations such as HMRC and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and of tackling complex and controversial international issues. Peter was a Harkness fellow in health services at the University of Washington in 1992/3.


Alarcos Cieza, MSc, MPH, PhD,

Alarcos Cieza

Unit Head, Sensory Functions, Disability and Rehabilitation, WHO

Dr. Cieza is unit head at the World Health Organization, leading WHO’s agenda on vision, hearing, rehabilitation, and disability. Her work on disability and rehabilitation related to policies, medical care and rehabilitation, community-based rehabilitation, assistive devices and technologies, data collection approaches, and capacity building, all of which contribute to the implementation of the Disability Action Plan 2014-2021.

Prior to joining WHO in September 2014, she served as Chair and Professor of Medical Psychology at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. After obtaining her MSc in psychology in Madrid, Spain, she conducted a Master in Public Health and obtained a PhD in Medical Psychology from the Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich, Germany.

She led the research unit for over ten years at the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and then at the Pettenkofer School of Public Health at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.

Martine Abel-Williamson

Martine Abel-Williamson

President, World Blind Union and Senior Human Rights Advisor, New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Martine Abel-Williamson is the World Blind Union (WBU) president and serves on the boards of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Accessible Books Consortium (ABC), International Disability Alliance (IDA and International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). She also holds positions on the boards of Blind Citizens NZ and the Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind. Her day job is as Senior Human Rights Advisor at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, she lives in Auckland, New Zealand and is usually accompanied by her guide dog.

Dr Stuart Keel

Dr Stuart Keel

Technical Officer, Vision and Eye Care Programme, Department of Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organization

Dr Stuart Keel is a Technical Officer within the Vision and Eye Care Programme, Department of Noncommunicable Diseases, at the World Health Organization. In his current role, Dr Keel supports the implementation of the actions outlined in the 2020 World Health Resolution ‘Integrated people-centred eye care, including preventable vision impairment and blindness’.

Dr Keel holds a PhD in ophthalmic epidemiology from La Trobe University, Melbourne. Prior to joining WHO in 2019, he held positions as president of the Australian Orthoptics Association – Victorian Branch, lecturer within the Department of Clinical Vision Sciences at La Trobe University, Melbourne and principal investigator in ophthalmic epidemiology at the Centre for Eye Research Australia.

Jane Barratt

Jane Barratt

Secretary General, International Federation of Ageing

Jane Barratt is the Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing (IFA) an international NGO with general consultative status at the United Nations and its agencies and formal relations with the World Health Organization (WHO). Her leadership drives the agenda for the world’s population ageing.  Among her many current positions Jane is a Member, Vision Academy, Director, Baycrest Health Sciences and Chair, Education Advisory Committee, Associate Scientist, Sinai Health System, Member, Global Committee, DR Barometer Program, Member, International Council for Adult Immunisation and Task, and CSO Representative, WHO COVAX Pillar “vaccine strategy” and Member of the European Interdisciplinary Council on Ageing Assembly.

Fatima Kyari

Fatima Kyari

Director, Institute for Medical Research and Training, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja

Dr Fatima Kyari is an ophthalmologist and clinical glaucoma lead at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital. She is also the Director of the newly activated Institute for Medical Research and Training (IAMRAT), College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja. She is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmic Epidemiology at the international centre for eye health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London (ICEH, LSHTM), leading the development of a new Africa Glaucoma Clinical and Research Network.
Fatima is the Co-Chair for IAPB West Africa, a member of the IAPB board of trustees and the Chair for the Glaucoma Society of Nigeria.

R Venkatesh

R Venkatesh

CMO-Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry

Dr Venkatesh is the Chief Medical Officer of Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry. He has published 75 research papers in peer reviewed International Journals, 4 publications in State Journals and has authored 10 book chapters so far. Total number of Completed and Ongoing trails in which he is involved is 25. Apart from these he has participated in various National and International meetings combining the verticals of Glaucoma, Cataract and Ophthalmology.

His video on High-Volume, High-Quality, Cost-Effective Cataract Surgery for the Developing World: Sutureless ECCE bagged the Best of Show Award in the AAO, 2004 at New Orleans. He was also awarded the ASCRS Research Grant in the year 2006. Twelve of his presentations have won awards at prestigious forums, including the conference of American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS).