IAPB organized a South East Asia Regional consultative meeting on eye health on 29 and 30 June 2019. The main objectives of the meeting were:
- To produce a white paper in line with the goals and objectives of VISION 2020 and WHO GAP 2014-2019, on existing eye health status of each country in the region and analyse issues and recommendations for the future road map on eye health in the region beyond 2020.
- To investigate the need for IAPB and members support in the region and formulate an IAPB SEA regional plan
- To re-invigorate the collaborative action to improve eye health services in the region
Thirty-five participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste attended the meeting. IAPB member representatives from the Fred Hollows Foundation, Eye Care Foundation, Orbis International, Seva Foundation, Helen Keller International and Operation Eyesight Universal also participated.
The first day of the meeting focused on the country-level presentations on their existing situation of eye health services. The presentation by IAPB member’s on their support to a country’s programme, IAPB Global Plan and a presentation from WHO’s Alarcos on the upcoming WHO World Report on Vision.
The second day of the meeting was on group work to identify the key issues coming out of the first day. It focussed on coming up with key actions to be taken as well as the role of stakeholders including IAPB Secretariat’s role and responsibilities to resolve the issue in the days to come.
As an outcome of the meeting IAPB SEA is coming up with a short term eye health plan 2019 – 2022 for the region. The outcomes of the meeting will be presented in WHO SEA Regional Eye Health Expert Group Meeting planned for early next year. The proposed meeting will pave the path for National and Regional Eye Health Plans for achieving Sustainable Development Goals and the WHO World Report on Vision.