Over the last few years, IAPB reached the world’s thought leaders with its ‘Focus On Glaucoma’ and ‘Focus On Diabetes’ series. The organization is excited to expand this initiative in 2022 with Focus On Child Eye Health, which will be supported by IAPB Patron and long-term global partner CooperVision.
Traditionally, the series has concentrated knowledge sharing over the course of a single week. This year, IAPB is undertaking a new format in which the topic will be revisited from January through December—a major commitment corresponding with the importance of the issue. By doing this, IAPB will engage more members than ever before and shine a brighter light on efforts that advance child eye health awareness and advocacy across the vision sector and beyond.
With last year’s landmark UN Resolution for Vision cementing the links between eye health and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Focus On Child Eye Health will take an in-depth look at SDG 4 (Quality Education). IAPB’s school eye health working group will be highlighting their progress and raising the issues of child eye health with decision makers to push for sight tests and school vision screenings for children around the world.
Commenting on this year’s plans Peter Holland IAPB Chief Executive said, “We know that there is a lot of great work happening to improve child eye health. IAPB members, patrons and others in the sector have amazing initiatives that are continuously advancing this area and we look forward to learning, sharing, and contributing to this work.”
Looking ahead to Focus On Child Eye Health, Dr. Priya Morjaria, Co-Chair of the IAPB School Eye Health Working Group said, “The COVID-19 pandemic had led to a global learning disruption of unprecedented scale and a disruption in health systems like we have never seen. At IAPB, we know there is an intrinsic link between health and educational outcomes. For example, children with clear, healthy vision are more likely to excel in their studies and better engage with their peers. All children deserve an education, and a child’s potential should not be compromised simply because they cannot see clearly.”
Stuart Cockerill, Head of Commercial Operations Specialty EyeCare, CooperVision said, “For more than a decade, CooperVision has been at the forefront of one of the most critical issues in child eye health today: addressing the increasing prevalence and severity of myopia. Our collaboration with IAPB extends our commitment to helping children reach their potential in the classroom and the community, knowing the vital role served by good vision.”
IAPB wants to hear from people and organizations that are working to improve child eye health, especially those that are doing school screenings or when eye health has been embedded into the education system. For more information, contact Saloni Nagpaul at [email protected]