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Work is now fully underway for the development of the Package of Eye Care Interventions (PECI). The PECI is the critical next step in the implementation process of the World Report on Vision and to ensuring that eye care becomes an integral part of Universal Health Coverage.
The PECI project is being led by the WHO Vision Programme in collaboration with Cochrane Eyes and Vision. IAPB is an observer to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) which will provide guidance to the WHO on technical aspects of the project throughout the different stages of development. The TAG is comprised of leading public health and clinical leaders in the field of eye care.
The TAG met for the first time last month. The first step was to select the specific eye conditions which will be included in the PECI. This is not an exhaustive or exclusive list and future work will involve expanding the PECI to include more eye conditions and thus more eye care interventions, also drawing on newly available evidence and newly collected data on service provision.
The PECI will provide additional guidance on eye care services and approaches. This enhanced access to evidence and recommendations, and the accompanying country level tools, will support countries in planning, budgeting, and integrating eye care interventions to their national health services packages and policies, according to population needs and available resources. Crucially, the package will be integrated in the WHO’s UHC repository of interventions, containing interventions across all of WHO’s programmatic health areas. It will also be included in the WHO’s OneHealth Tool, a software application developed to support governments, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, to estimate the resource requirements for a comprehensive and integrated national health strategic plan.
In addition to strengthening eye care in national health systems, the PECI will also be an important tool for identifying gaps in evidence and defining the research strategies which could be deployed to address these gaps. In particular, the PECI will provide a useful basis for return on investment studies to provide evidence on how scaling up the coverage of eye care intervention packages can secure health, social and economic return. The PECI could also be used by academics to develop their curricula for training eye health workers.
The PECI is expected to be launched in 2021.