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SPECS 2030 Initiative: Collaborating to Achieve the Global Refractive Error Target

Published: 15.05.2024
Jessica Thompson Director of Strategy, Advocacy and Policy

This week Peter Holland and I have joined many IAPB members and those from around the sector in Geneva for the launch of WHO’s SPECS 2030 initiative. The SPECS initiative is a global call to action, bringing together stakeholders from across sectors to address the pressing issue of uncorrected refractive errors (RE). This ambitious initiative is driven by the belief that a multi-stakeholder approach is essential to achieve the global target of eliminating uncorrected RE by 2030. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) is proud to support this critical initiative, building on its ongoing work to raise awareness and advocate for improved eye health globally. 

Collaborative Workplans: A Roadmap for Progress 

At the heart of the SPECS initiative are three comprehensive work plans, each focusing on a key area: 

  1. Advocacy and awareness-raising: Raising awareness of the impact of RE and the importance of access to quality eye care. IAPB will contribute to these efforts through initiatives such as Love Your Eyes and World Sight Day, which aim to educate the public about the importance of eye health and encourage regular eye exams. 
  2. Workforce and Human Resources: Focuses on enhancing personnel capacity and competence in delivering refractive error services. This includes advocating for initiatives to regulate and expand the refractive error workforce, standardize training programs, and promote innovation in screening and refraction techniques. These efforts aim to advocate for a skilled and competent workforce capable of addressing the growing demand for refractive error services effectively. 
  3. Service Delivery and Integration: Focuses on the integration of refractive error services in the public sector, including spectacles in health services packages and sustainable financing mechanisms and ensuring access to quality spectacles.  

These workplans are interconnected, recognising that progress in one area is dependent on progress in others. Together, they provide a roadmap for achieving universal access to RE correction. 

The Power of Collective Advocacy 

The success of the SPECS 2030 initiative hinges on collective advocacy. We have seen the power of collaboration in achieving significant milestones in the field of eye health, such as the World Health Assembly Resolution, the Global Targets on eye health and of course the 2021 Resolution on Vision. We must now once again harness this collective energy to drive change at the national level and accelerate our actions further if we are to achieve the 2030 in Sight Sector Strategy. 

Call to Action 

IAPB invites everyone to join us in this important endeavour. Your expertise, insights, and commitment are invaluable as we work together to bring the SPECS initiative to life. By collaborating across sectors and advocating for change, we can ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality eye care.  

To learn more about SPECS 2020 why not join either of the following events: 

The Time for Action is Now 

The burden of uncorrected RE is immense, impacting individuals, communities, and economies. But the solutions are within reach. The SPECS initiative provides a framework for action, and it is up to all of us to seize this opportunity and make a lasting difference in the lives of millions.