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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Eye Care for the Future

AUTHOR:

Hugh R. Taylor

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2003

PUBLICATION:

Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) reassessed the amount of blindness around the world and estimated that there were approximately 45 million people who were blind and an additional 135 million people with visual impairment.

  • They also determined that by the year 2020, these numbers would double.

  • Vision 2020 is a global initiative bringing together a broad range of people from the WHO, IAPB, national government bodies, nongovernment organizations, philanthropic institutions, and the health professionals and the organizations to address the problem of global blindness and give everyone “the right to sight” by the year 2020.

  • This transcript pays particular attention to Vision 2020 programs in Australia, and includes goals and practices that may be of help to others looking to further Vision 2020 projects, or launch a similar initiative.

SUMMARY

Eye Care for the Future is a transcript of a Weisenfeld Lecture given by Hugh R. Taylor.

Taylor describes the conditions that most commonly cause loss of sight, and describes how they may be corrected or treated. He also discusses necessary research to develop treatments for conditions that still cannot be arrested or otherwise well-managed.


Additionally, Taylor discusses the WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention Blindness (IAPB) global initiative intended to reduce the number of blind persons to less than half the present number by eliminating avoidable blindness.


This program, The Global Initiative to Eliminate Avoidable Blindness by the year 2020, also called Vision 2020: the Right to Sight, was launched in February 1999.


This global initiative includes disease control, the development of human resources, and the provision of appropriate technology and infrastructure. It is reasoned that by focusing on priority areas, coordinating activities, using advocacy, and increasing fundraising, it will be possible to give everyone “The Right to Sight” by 2020.


Taylor pays particular attention to Vision 2020 initiatives in Australia, with suggestions applicable to all locations on implementing the project.


The Weisenfeld Lecture by Hugh Taylor on eye disease in Melbourne, Australia.