Social media and the Universal Eye Health Goal

We are working with Mediaplanet UK’s Vision Matters campaign to help raise awareness for sight testing and eye health among medical professionals and the public. The campaign features exclusive editorial insights from key ophthalmology thought leaders including MedShr. To support the Vision Matters campaign, MedShr has written an article about the role of social media in helping to advance the Universal Eye Health goal, and promote the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. To see the full article, visit the Health Awareness Eye Health page here, and read on for a short excerpt.

WHO Universal health eye screening programme

In 2010, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that 285 million people worldwide were visually impaired, with 39 million of those being blind1.  80% of these cases were estimated to be avoidable, with the two main causes being due to uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts1, both of which have well-established effective treatments. An uneven distribution of eye services globally has resulted in 90% of the world’s avoidable visual impairment being found in the developing world1 and even within these countries inequality of access to healthcare means that visual impairment is greater amongst disadvantaged groups2. Between 2009 and 2013 the WHO implemented an action plan amongst its member states to promote the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment with the goal of eventually achieving universal eye health3. A follow-up action plan was published, laying out key objectives for 2014-2019, which aimed to advance progress in achieving universal eye health and build on lessons learned during the 2009-2013 action plan. The three objectives stated that member states, international partners and the secretariat:
  1. Addresses the need for generating evidence on the magnitude and causes of visual impairment and eye care services and using it to advocate greater political and financial commitment by Member States to eye health
  2. Encourages the development and implementation of...
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  1. World Health Organisation (2013) Universal Eye Health. A global action plan 2014 – 2019.
  2. Ramke J, Zwi AB, Lee AC et al. (2017) Inequality in cataract blindness and services: moving beyond unidimensional analyses of social position. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2017;101:395-400

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