WHO approves eye health resolution

The World Health Organization has urged member states to make eye care an integral part of health systems

eye and the planet
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged member states to implement the recommendations of its World report on vision.  

A resolution passed on 6 February by the WHO highlighted that one billion people worldwide are living with vision impairment that could have been prevented or has gone unaddressed.

The international health body added that the number of people living with blindness is projected to triple by 2050.

The resolution emphasised the “disproportionate burden” that this places on underserved and vulnerable communities, noting that cataract and refractive error are the main sources of vision impairment and blindness.

“The majority of the causes of vision impairment can be prevented or corrected through early detection and timely management,” the WHO executive board highlighted.

The resolution raised concerns about the increasing prevalence of myopia, “especially related to lifestyle factors in children, including intensive near vision activity and insufficient time spent outdoors.”

The WHO calls on nations to adopt measures included within the World report on vision, including making eye care an integral part of universal health coverage and implementing integrated people-centred eye care in health systems.

AOP policy adviser, Kathy Jones, welcomed the WHO resolution.

“This latest step underlines the need to tackle avoidable sight impairment and loss on a global scale and it’s good to see such wide-reaching support and commitment. Governments in the UK should review the recommendations and consider the need for further action,” she said.

Image credit: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann