Grand Challenges in Global Eye Health: a global Prioritisation Process Using Delphi Method
Jacqueline Ramke, Jennifer R Evans, Esmael Habtamu, Nyawira Mwangi, Juan Carlos Silva, Bonnielin K Swenor, Nathan Congdon, Hannah B Faal, Allen Foster, David S Friedman, Stephen Gichuhi, Jost B Jonas, Peng T Khaw, Fatima Kyari, Gudlavalleti V S Murthy, Ningli Wang, Tien Y Wong, Richard Wormald, Mayinuer Yusufu, Hugh Taylor, Serge Resnikoff, Sheila K West, Matthew J Burton, on behalf of the Grand Challenges in Global Eye Health study group
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Moorfields Eye Charity, National Institute for Health Research Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, Wellcome Trust, Sightsavers, The Fred Hollows Foundation, The Seva Foundation, British Council for the Prevention of Blindness, and Christian Blind Mission.
The Lancet: Healthy Longetivity
This paper identifies the key issues that must be addressed to improve eye health in the context of an ageing population, to eliminate persistent inequities in health-care access, and to mitigate widespread resource limitations.
Drawing on methods used in previous Grand Challenges studies, we used a multi-step recruitment strategy to assemble a diverse panel of individuals from a range of disciplines relevant to global eye health from all regions globally to participate in a three-round, online, Delphi-like, prioritisation process to nominate and rank challenges in global eye health. Through this process, we developed both global and regional priority lists.
Between Sept 1 and Dec 12, 2019, 470 individuals complete round 1 of the process, of whom 336 completed all three rounds (round 2 between Feb 26 and March 18, 2020, and round 3 between April 2 and April 25, 2020) 156 (46%) of 336 were women, 180 (54%) were men.
The proportion of participants who worked in each region ranged from 104 (31%) in sub-Saharan Africa to 21 (6%) in central Europe, eastern Europe, and in central Asia.
Of 85 unique challenges identified after round 1, 16 challenges were prioritised at the global level; six focused on detection and treatment of conditions (cataract, refractive error, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, services for children and screening for early detection), two focused on addressing shortages in human resource capacity, five on other health service and policy factors (including strengthening policies, integration, health information systems, and budget allocation), and three on improving access to care and promoting equity.
This list of Grand Challenges serves as a starting point for immediate action by funders to guide investment in research and innovation in eye health. It challenges researchers, clinicians, and policy makers to build collaborations to address specific challenges.