In Laos this week (on 13th), stakeholders, including IAPB members ECF, CBM, Sight For All and the Fred Hollows Foundation came together with the National Ophthalmology Centre and Aier Group to coordinate responses in preparation for the dissemination of RAAB results. There is a recognition that for the research to have the most impact, all stakeholders need to align their advocacy messages. As such terms of reference were developed to revitalise the Laos Eye Care Working Group. It will meet over the coming months to prepare an advocacy document for distribution to the national media and the Ministry of Health in time for RAAB dissemination. The results of the RAAB will be particularly interesting as a comparison to the 2007 RAAB – both as an example of what’s been achieved and also as a place marker for what still needs to be done.
Thanks to Hans Limburg for travelling out from Amsterdam to facilitate discussion, ECF for supporting his travel, Fred Hollows for providing the venue and Dr Khampoua for his steady chairmanship over the two days of meetings. In encouraging the group to meet, IAPB is gratified that our members and partners in Laos understand the importance of research, such as a RAAB, stretching beyond the data.