As someone who is deeply committed to the right to sight for all, Alexander Páez began his journey to contribute to the field of eye health nearly a decade ago. He is committed to seeking sustainable changes and advocating for policy development through research in universal eye care. For several years, he has worked on public policy development and research in Bolivia and Paraguay.
Most notably, he was part of the team that built the national eye health committee in Bolivia and drafted the national eye health plan, as well as the coordination of the first RAAB study in the country (funded through an LCIF research grant). Alexander’s work with the RAAB and the national eye health committee served as the foundation for the design of community-focused eye care projects to expand services for cataract, low vision and refractive errors in Bolivia. In collaboration with LCIF and local Lions, projects are now being carried out to train cataract surgeons, upgrade hospitals and establish optical workshops within the Altiplano and Southern Highlands.
After joining Fundación Visión in Paraguay, he has continued to coordinate research projects and advocate for policy change focused on inclusive eye care and the public health system. Plans in this regard include an ECSAT, TADDS and RAAB in Paraguay. The research and advocacy being carried out in Paraguay is also giving rise to eye care projects supported by LCIF and local Lions. A project is being carried out to establish public eye health services in the southeastern-most part of the country.
A rising star within the research and policy field, Alexander Páez undoubtedly embodies the characteristics of a change-maker. He is helping to develop evidence-based strategies in order to seek equitable changes within the eye health systems in both Bolivia and Paraguay, actively bringing about positive, lasting change.
“Blindness is very exciting to me. I am passionate about managing projects that, through research and advocacy, enable communities to recover their visual capacity while at the same time strengthening all the processes related to health. All the work in the prevention of blindness caused by cataracts or ROP that I’ve done have one purpose for me: to improve the quality of life of many people.”
– Alexander Paez Matallana