A new initiative to mark World Glaucoma Week, which will run from 10–16 March, has been launched with the aim of raising awareness of the world’s third leading cause of blindness.
The Focus on: Glaucoma initiative has been established in partnership between the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the World Glaucoma Association and the International Centre for Eye Health. It is supported by pharmaceutical company Allergan.
In 2015, nearly three million people were believed to be blind as a result of glaucoma, with a further four million people living with moderate to severe vision impairment due to the condition, the IAPB highlighted.
During the awareness week, a series of lectures will be held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London on 12 March. Speakers will include Professor Sir Peng Khaw, Dr Winifred Nolan and Jess Blijkers. The trio will share insight into the complications of glaucoma, glaucoma care in developing countries and the need to increase glaucoma services in sub-saharan Africa.
In order to raise discussions about glaucoma, the IAPB will host a series of webinars during the week that will be run across different time zones.
Speaking about the launch of the initiative, director of development and communications at the IAPB, Joanna Conlon, said: “Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness and vision impairment and we need a collaborative strategy to tackle it. Glaucoma constitutes an important public health concern, and addressing it is crucial to delivering universal health coverage. The IAPB is delighted to bring together some of the best minds in glaucoma care and delivery to kick-start these conversations.”
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