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Raising awareness about eye health globally.

On 12 October, the eve of World Sight Day 2022, at the United Nations in New York, the World Health Organization launched its Report of the 2030 targets on effective coverage of eye care.

The report, which draws on research co-authored by SOVS Associate Professor Jacqui Ramke, will serve as a reference point for countries’ efforts towards meeting the ambitious global eye health targets endorsed by Member States of the 74th World Health Assembly in 2021. These are:

  • A 30-percentage point increase in effective cataract surgical coverage (eCSC) and
  • A 40-percentage point increase in effective refractive error coverage (eREC)
What is eCSC and eREC?

Effective cataract surgical coverage (eCSC) measures the number of people in a population that have been operated for cataract, and had a good outcome, as a proportion of all the people requiring or having received surgery in that population.

Similarly, effective refractive error coverage (eREC) is defined as the proportion of people in need of services to correct refractive error such as spectacles or contact lenses, who have received these interventions and have a resultant good-quality outcome.

You can read more about the importance of these targets and how they came to be adopted by the World Health Assembly — with a view to also making them proxy indicators for Universal Health Coverage — in a blogpost on the International Centre for Eye Health‘s website, written by Jacqui with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine colleagues Professor Matthew Burton and Ian McCormick.

Here in Aotearoa, we continue to collect information on how people are experiencing eye health services, whether they are able to access the services they need, and what solutions might be needed to ensure that everyone who needs eye care in Aotearoa can receive it.

We are excited to soon begin a project that will include Aotearoa’s first population-based survey that will generate our first estimates of eCSC and eREC. These estimates are crucial to inform equity-focused planning, and will also help raise the profile of eye health on global health and development agenda.

Find out more:

What is World Sight Day?

World Sight Day is an International Day of Awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October. This year, World Sight Day is Thursday, 13 October 2022. World Sight Day is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

This year, the IAPB, its members and partners is encouraging everyone to take a moment to think about the importance of eye health for everyone, everywhere: