Major study into avoidable blindness in the occupied Palestinian territories is complete

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is an alliance of civil society organisations, corporates and professional bodies promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships.
Organisation: IAPB

The Palestinian population has a rate of blindness which is ten times as high as in the West, but insufficient research has been conducted. This means those attempting to combat preventable blindness in the region have little understanding of where to focus their efforts. A Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) is a population-based survey…

30% reduction of blindness in Bhutan and more trends from published RAAB

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

I am happy to report that Bhutan now has fresh blindness and visual impairment data. These were the results from a RAAB carried out after 9 years. PLOS One has published the results. In a moment that is worth celebrating, they show that Bhutan has achieved 30% reduction in blindness compared to the of result…

Yuddha Sapkota, certified RAAB 7 Survey trainer

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

I have been a certified RAAB trainer since 2014. As a trainer, I have trained and supervised survey teams and monitored RAAB surveys in Maldives, Timor-Leste, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan. The RAAB survey methodology gets updated regularly. In 2014 the RAAB 5 version was current, which soon became RAAB 6. Every version requires some…

The Cox Bazaar RAAB: Surveying vision among the Rohingya Refugee Population in Bangladesh

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

The story so far: Victims of what the UN called ethnic cleansing, more than a million Rohingya refugees live in refugee camps around Cox’s Bazaar in eastern Bangladesh. A number of IAPB members, with support from IAPB South East Asia, conducted a situation analysis (and published it in July last year). The situation analysis delved…

Eye Care Everywhere For PNG

Regional Program Manager, Western Pacific
Organisation: International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

In Papua New Guinea (PNG) there are so many activities associated with World Sight Day that events typically stretch throughout the month. This October was no different, culminating in a plethora of activities during the last week of the month. There was a Trachoma Action Planning Workshop led by the Fred Hollows Foundation Australia, a…

PNG has one of the highest rates of blindness in the world – nationwide study

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is an alliance of civil society organisations, corporates and professional bodies promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships.
Organisation: IAPB

The first national survey on eye health in Papua New Guinea (PNG) has found that the prevalence of blindness among people aged 50 years and older is 5.6%, which is one of the highest rates in the world. The study, which was recently published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, found the major causes of…

Major research underway into avoidable blindness in the occupied Palestinian territories

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is an alliance of civil society organisations, corporates and professional bodies promoting eye health through advocacy, knowledge and partnerships.
Organisation: IAPB

St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group (SJEHG) is conducting its second-ever Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) study in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). The study began in July 2018. RAAB is a population-based survey of adults age 50 years and over, using rapid examination techniques. Over 200 RAABs have been completed worldwide, providing…

Designing a blindness survey for Afghanistan – RAAB in Kabul

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

HealthNET TPO, a Netherlands-based INGO, supporting Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan recently requested that I visit Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, to help design a vision impairment survey based on the RAAB survey methodology. Afghanistan is a land-locked mountainous country with an estimated population of 31 million (74% rural), where more than a third of…

RAAB in Inhambane, Mozambique

Projects Manager
Organisation: Eyes Of The World (Fundació Ulls del Món)

Francisco Sanz León works as a Projects Manager for Ulls del món (also known as Eyes of the World) and won the Amateur Prize in last year’s #MakeVisionCount photo competition. He writes about the RAAB in Inhambane, Mozambique, where he took his winning photo. My name is Francisco Sanz León and I work as a…

A Road map of Indonesia’s visual impairment control programme

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

A RAAB survey covering 15 districts in Indonesia (in 2016) showed that it had one of the highest prevalence of blindness in the South-East Asia region. The survey also showed that the human resources were concentrated in the major cities. The Indonesian archipelago has more than 13,000 islands. The survey noted that personnel presence was…

Bhutan meets the WHO Global Action Plan target on blindness reduction

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Bhutan is one of the countries where a previous nationwide blindness survey exists and can be compared with the latest, the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) Survey 2018. The 2018 survey’s sampling frame covered the population aged 50 years and older, across all 20  districts of the kingdom. The first RAAB survey in Bhutan…

Data collection in IAPB SEA in 2018

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Many countries in SEA region do not have authentic base-line data to measure the progress of the Global Action Plan’s (GAP) target of 25% reduction in visual impairment by 2019. The lack of a National Eye Health Action Plan and comprehensive eye care services has also been a major issue in some countries. Therefore for…

The Bhutan mRAAB Survey Begins

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

South East Asia is fortunate. The Lions Clubs International Foundation have yet again supported the region with a Research Grant in 2017 for a RAAB survey in Bhutan (After the surveys in Maldives and East Timor in 2016). The last time Bhutan had a blindness survey (RAAB) was in 2009 and so the 2017 follow-up…

The road-map towards the Global Action Plan – An update from IAPB South-East Asia

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

In recent years, IAPB South East Asia (SEA) advocacy has expanded to all countries in the region. The most recent wins being the first-ever RAAB survey in Maldives and follow-up RAAB in Timor-Leste with financial support from Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). The collaboration with WHO-SEARO, and WHO country offices of respective countries have been another success for the implementation of…

Tenk Yu Tru: RAAB Results Presented in Papua New Guinea

Regional Program Manager, Western Pacific
Organisation: International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness

Pictured (from L to R): Chief Ophthalmologist, Dr Simon Melengas; Dr Goa Tau, Director Medical Services (NDoH), Deputy Secretary of Health, Dr Paison Dakulala; PBL President, Dr Jambi Garap and Dr Bieb, Director Disease Control (NDoH). “It was tough”, PNG Eye Care General Manager, Samuel Koim, explained, presenting the logistic of the PNG Rapid Assessment…

Better data, better planning

Fundraising and Partnerships Manager
Organisation: IAPB

At IAPB we are very keen to promote prevalence surveys on eye health, most often the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) method, as an important advocacy tool to inform health policy makers and planners. As governments face ever increasing demands on health budgets, the case for eye health services needs to be heard. Local…

Timor-Leste gets fresh data on blindness and visual impairment

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

In 2016, I worked with the Ministry of Health (MoH) Timor-Leste to carry out a national representative blindness and visual impairment survey there. The survey was carried out with generous financial support from Lions Club International Foundation, technical support from International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), South East Asia Region and local financial administration…

Rapid Assessment of Blindness survey: Timor-Leste

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

Timor-Leste in South East Asia–current listed as one of the poorest nations in the world—became an independent state in 1999. The country is divided into 13 administrative districts and 65 sub districts with a predominantly rural population of 1,257, 613 (Census data 2010) people. Timor-Leste has one referral hospital, in Dili, the capital. The hospital…

Maldives Dissemination Workshop

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

I am delighted to report back from a successful ‘dissemination workshop’ for data from the first-ever population based RAAB survey in Maldives. The workshop was organized by the WHO country office in Maldives and was graced by the honorable Minister of Health Her Excellency Ms Iruthisham Adam, Dr Tara Prasad Das, IAPB SEA Regional Chair, Prof. Henry Adala, LCIF Technical Advisor, Africa, Deputy Ministers and policy makers of Maldives and other eye care colleagues from the island nation.

The Maldives’ first RAAB—aided by smartphones!

IAPB South East Asia Regional Coordinator
Organisation: IAPB

On the first day of survey data collection we—Me, as the RAAB trainer and Mr Ubeydulla Thoufeeq as the Principal Investigator—were interviewed on live TV regarding the purpose and importance of survey to the country. After two weeks of preparation, I’m back in office and am happy to note that the data collection work is going on full-swing. We are using PEEK’s app for data-collection, which is making the recording of data easy and accurate (I had tested its first use in Nepal too). Data collection should be complete by the end of March and data analysis and result is expected by early April 2016.