New Paper calls for urgent action to meet WHO Global Action Plan objective by 2019
Photo courtesy : Shyam, submitted for the #StrongerTogether Photo competition
A recently published paper in the journal “International Ophthalmology”, reviews eye care service delivery in the South East Asia region and assesses progress towards Universal Eye Health. The key findings emphasise the need to design current programmes to effectively address both current and emerging causes of blindness and visual impairment. The paper also argues for capacity building and proportionate distribution of human resources for adequate rural reach along with poverty alleviation. Such an emphasis could be the key to achieving the WHO’s Global Action Plan (GAP) objectives by 2019.
The paper looks at each SEA country’s eye care service profile, health indices, blindness and low vision prevalence, national eye health policy, eye health expenses, insurance and out of pocket expenses, Integration of eye health into the national health system, strength of eye health personnel, cataract surgery rate and involvement of non-governmental sector in eye health services in the region.
The paper highlights none of the countries in the region are likely to achieve WHO GAP goal of 25% reduction of blindness by 2019 without urgent action. It notes that some countries are closer to target while the majority needs to improve their eye care service delivery plan and accelerate the service outputs and outcomes.
The paper is a novel attempt in the IAPB SEA region; it is authored by Dr Taraprasad Das, IAPB Regional Chair for SEA, Mr Yuddha Dhoj Sapkota, the regional coordinator and the ten IAPB country chairs of the region (along with other partners).