The road-map towards the Global Action Plan – An update from IAPB South-East Asia

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB
RAAB in Maldives

RAAB in Timor-Leste

In recent years, IAPB South East Asia (SEA) advocacy has expanded to all countries in the region. The most recent wins being the first-ever RAAB survey in Maldives and follow-up RAAB in Timor-Leste with financial support from Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).

The collaboration with WHO-SEARO, and WHO country offices of respective countries have been another success for the implementation of WHO GAP 2014- 2019, the annual monitoring of which is done through the regional and national level workshops.  Collaboration with IAPB members such as the Fred Hollows Foundation, SEVA, Orbis, Helen Keller International, and LCIF has also been instrumental for monitoring the success of GAP operationalization in the region. The following countries have already had or are in the process of obtaining fresh information on blindness and visual impairments in the region:

  1. Sri Lanka (National Blindness Survey 40 year and over, 2015)
  2. Maldives (National RAAB 50 years and over, 2016)
  3. Timor-Leste (National RAAB 50 years and over, 2016)
  4. Indonesia (RAAB in some districts, 50 year and over, 2016)
  5. Bangladesh (National Blindness Survey all ages , 2015)
  6. India (RAAB 50 years and over,  data collection still continuing, 2017)
  7. Thailand ( National Blindness Survey all ages, started June 2017)
  8. Myanmar ( RAAB 50 year and over data collection started, 2017 )
  9. Bhutan ( RAAB 50 years and over to be started later this year, 2017)
  10. Nepal (RAAB 50 years and over, planned for 2018)

In recent years IAPB advocacy workshops for the national Eye Heath Policy / Strategic plan in line with GAP 2014-2019 has also started bearing fruit, for example:

  • Myanmar launched their national strategic action plan, 2017 – 2021
  • India’s National VISION 2020 committee also successfully agreed to  and is in the process of revising their national strategic plan in 2017
  • Nepal has a new Eye Health Policy coming into effect in 2017
  • Bangladesh and Indonesia are also coming up with national strategic plans later in 2017
  • It is expected that Maldives, Timor-Leste and Bhutan will also develop their respective new strategic plans on eye health by 2018