OPC recently attended the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE conference, held in Dubai on March 2 and 3, 2022.
About 2030 In Sight
More than 1 billion people are currently living with sight loss because they do not have access to the eye care they need. The IAPB’s campaign, 2030 In Sight, aims to ensure that by the year 2030, no one experiences unnecessary or preventable sight loss, meaning that everyone can achieve their full potential in school, work and in society.
This means ensuring that disadvantaged and excluded communities have greater access to eye care services, and integrating eye health and eye care services as a core part of health coverage.
OPC is a proud member of the IAPB and is reinforcing the 2030 In Sight campaign through its work in Francophone Africa. Africa remains a key global development focus for eye health – Africa has proportionately 73% more blind and visually impaired people than any other region in the world, and 80% of these are due to causes that are either preventable or curable.
Convening Stakeholders to End Avoidable Blindness
The IAPB 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE conference brought together 150 organizations acting in 100 countries, unified in the shared goal to end one of the world’s biggest blind spots: 1 billion people living with avoidable sight loss.
Caroline Casey, President of the IAPB, kicked proceedings off to a fierce start, calling for radical change if stakeholders are to meet the goals of 2030 In Sight. These goals are based on the World Health Organization (WHO) World Report on Vision of 2019, and the global eye health sector has raised the stakes even higher, aiming to end avoidable sight loss by 2030.
Presentations and discussions between participants took place throughout the conference about how to cooperate in implementing the IAPB’s 2030 Elevate, Integrate, Activate strategy around the world. Presentations included an overview of WHO’s new Guide for Action, aimed at countries’ Ministries of Health and all actors who support them in defining and implementing a national eye health plan.
Among the breakout sessions, OPC attended the School Eye Health Programmes workshop, which focused on moving forward with integration and collaboration, exploring the challenges and opportunities of school eye health programs, public-private partnerships and initiatives to integrate eye health into schools. The workshop included as speakers Victoria Sheffield and Chris Pearson from the USAID Child Blindness Program; Kristan Gross, Vision Impact Institute; Anne Buglass, Vision Aid Overseas; and Kovin Naidoo, Essilor.
Learn more about #FORESIGHT, OPC’s initiative to bring eye health into schools in French and Portuguese-speaking African countries.
OPC also attended a session about Working with the Private Sector to Deliver Eye Care, which touched on the power of business to deliver change for eye health. With Caroline Casey, IAPB; Arshad Jamal, Tusuka Jeans LTD; Anurag Hans, Essilor Luxottica SA; Nicola Lister, Novartis; and others as panelists, the workshop explored the strategies needed to convince business leaders on the advantages of prioritizing employee eye health and implementing feasible workplace solutions. It also explored the role of the private sector and shared partnership strategies to tackle barriers to achieving affordable and accessible eye care.
As an active partner in Africa, OPC participated in a roundtable of all actors working on the continent, which outlined the activities of the IAPB Africa workplan related to the 2030 In Sight themes of Elevate, Activate and Integrate. The workplan emphasized Integrated People-centered Eye Care (IPEC) implementation activities at the national level by:
- Updating eye health plans to include IPEC.
- Elevating eye health at the national level, including activating communities and youth, which is a longstanding important goal for OPC.
- Working with governments as key stakeholders for integration. National eye care plans should be aligned with the 2030 In Sight strategy and can be updated as dynamic documents, and the WHO resolution on reporting on eye health indicators should be used as leverage to encourage countries to integrate and report on the respective indicators.