09 December 2019

WHO Launches First World Report on Vision

10th October 2019: The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched their World Report on Vision, bringing to light major gaps that exist in the care for retinal conditions, as well as inequalities in accessing preventative and treatment options for people with visual impairments, on a global scale.

This report emphasises the urgent need to ensure quality interventions are accessible without the worry of financial burdens. The WHO also highlights the fact that these burdens primarily affect those living in rural settings, low income earners, women, elderly populations and individuals living with disabilities, the vast majority of whom have limited access to eye care because of their personal circumstances. In fact, findings in this report state that at least 1 billion people are living with visual impairments which could have been easily avoided if the necessary resources were available, representing almost half of all people diagnosed worldwide.  Therefore, this evidence highlights that we have a clear obligation to establish and ensure efficient preventative, early diagnosis and treatment measures are easily attainable and affordable, to support, in particular,  those currently at greatest risk of becoming visually impaired or blind.

In light of these findings, a number of suggestions have been made to tackle these issues in accessing eye care. One major recommendation made in this report is for national health services to incorporate eye care as a central part of their care package, and have prevention, early diagnosis and treatment measures a key focus of their healthcare systems.

You can read more about the full report from the WHO on their website, or alternatively, the vision summary can be accessed here.

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