The IAPB budget for 2018 is quite tight and one decision we have had to reluctantly take is to make the regional co-ordinator post for Latin America redundant. Accordingly we have to tell you that Luis Perez who has been in this position for the past three years will be leaving us on 31st December 2017. We say a sad farewell to Luis and we wish him the very best for his future. We shall miss him.
IAPB remains as committed as always to reducing avoidable visual impairment and improving access to eye health in all countries of the Latin America region. The IAPB regional chair, Francisco Martinez Castro and staff at IAPB’s London office are in discussions with some of our members about funding for the region next year. We hope that these negotiations will be completed over the next month and in a future edition of IAPB Focus, we will tell you about planned activities in the region for 2018. One event that is definitely happening is the 1st International Course on Visual Health, which will be held in Mexico in March 2018 and we will share the programme with you soon.
VISION2020 workshop programme manager role ends
The VISION 2020 workshop programme began in 1999 and has been one of the most successful programmes within IAPB’s portfolio ever since. Over the years it has had a huge impact, initially focussing on implementing the objectives of VISION 2020 and more recently building on that legacy to promote implementation of the Global Action Plan for Universal Eye Health.
Budget constraints and reduced restricted funding for the VISION 2020 Workshop programme though prompted us to stop the management of the VISION 2020 Workshops Programme as an independent programme in 2018. Many of you will have interacted over the years with the Workshop Programme Manager Robin Percy at the International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH) – IAPB contracted ICEH to deliver this programme for us, a contract which will cease at the end of 2017. We are sad to lose Robin’s input to IAPB – she has been a very great resource for us over many years – but the good news is that she will almost certainly continue with ICEH, albeit on other projects and not on the workshops. We wish her the very best in her new activities.
At the same time we can assure that the Workshops will continue to play an important role in delivering our strategy at regional level. We have reviewed how we can deliver in the most cost effective way going forward and have concluded that from 2018 onwards the workshops will be managed through the IAPB regional teams. So please do contact your regional chair and regional co-ordinator about future workshops.