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It’s often difficult to point to tangible and direct outcomes from advocacy actions – but the results from the Latin American Regional workshop hosted by PAHO in April 2013 certainly delivered on eye health. Supported by IAPB Latin America and Orbis, the three day workshop of Ministry of Health officials, V2020 LA, Orbis, CBM and other regional stakeholders, the workshop initiated progress on eye health on a number of fronts.
Most immediately the Bolivian Ministry of Health returned from the meeting and committed to developing a national eye health plan – this largely on the realisation that that they alone in the region had no plan in place.
The impetus gained through the workshop prompted the Mexican Ministry of Health to re-establish their PBL committee and actively engage with the World Sight Day event in Mexico city.
Perhaps most importantly of all PAHO acknowledged the importance of the workshop in helping formulate their Regional Action Plan for the Prevention of Blindness and Visual Impairment, endorsed by the PAHO Executive in June of this year.
So with a bit of distance we can look back and see the range of positive outcomes through this advocacy – the next phase is to identify better implementation of eye care services.