The European Coalition for Vision (ECV) is joining colleagues the world over to cut the prevalence of avoidable blindness and ‘Make Vision Count’.
The call from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the alliance of eye care organisations, comes with the release of data yesterday from the Vision Loss Expert Group (VLEG) in Lancet Global Health, showing that decades of declining ‘avoidable blindness’ is plateauing, and is projected to increase.
The paper warns that an ageing and growing population, combined with an increase in Myopia and Diabetic Retinopathy could potentially lead to a tripling in blindness by 2050. Uncorrected Refractive Errors, Cataracts and Age-related Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma were the main causes of blindness or Moderate and Severe Visual Impairment (MSVI) in 2015, the paper also reveals.
The IAPB has also updated its ‘Vision Atlas’ to feature prevalence maps for every country from 1990 to 2015 and projections to 2020. It also examines progress towards meeting World Health Organization Global Action Plan targets to reduce avoidable vision impairment by 25% by 2019.
Chair of the ECV, David Hewlett, said:
“The ECV proudly supports the work of its members - the IAPB and VLEG - in the launch of their Vision Atlas which highlights the huge amount of work still to be done to improve access to eye care across the world to reduce avoidable blindness. It’s time we all step up to the task and Make Vision Count!”
For further information and access to online resources, see the World Sight Day campaign website.