Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goal for health, and is specifically focussed upon in target 3.8. Finding good indicators to monitor UHC will be important throughout the 2016-2030 period to measure progress.
IAPB has been promoting Cataract Surgical Coverage (CSC) as a UHC indicator given cataract surgery is the most common elective surgical procedure in the world. It is important in all countries and when disaggregated by gender, income, rural/urban and age can provide great insight into the equity of service provision across different sectors of society.
We are therefore delighted that WHO has recently uploaded the latest data on CSC and also the effective cataract surgical coverage (eCSC) onto the Global Health Observatory in the UHC data portal section. The data, which was provided to WHO by IAPB, covers 34 countries.
This represents important progress in ensuring that eye health is considered as an essential part of health care provision and is included in the UHC paradigm that will dominate health and development policy for the next 15 years. CSC and eCSC data are obtained from population surveys such as Rapid Assessments of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) – it will be important that the eye health community promotes surveys in more countries so that we can further strengthen the case for CSC as a UHC indicator and to promote at national level the need to collect disaggregated CSC data.