The Observatory

Launch of the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision

Worrelle Blow

I attended the launch of the Roadmap to Close the Gap for Vision on Thursday 23 February with The Hon Warren Snowdon MP at the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia. The report outlines current Australian health systems and policy around eye health and vision care and the findings from research undertaken by the Indigenous Eye Health Unit over the past five years.

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP launches the roadmap.

The Roadmap highlights that blindness rates in Indigenous adults are 6 times the rate in mainstream. 94 per cent of the vision loss is preventable or treatable but 35 per cent of Indigenous adults have never had an eye exam.

Vision 2020 Australia and the members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee support the Roadmap in principle and will plan key messages around advocacy for the Roadmap. According to the Roadmap it will cost just $70 million to close the gap. Implementation will take planning and coordination and it can be achieved with a collaborative approach by the sector. Investment will achieve a 7 times increase in cataract surgeries, 5 times increase in diabetic examinations and 2.5 times the use of glasses. This is an area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health that the Australian Government needs to acknowledge and support.

NACCHO Chair Justin Mohammed, Professor Hugh Taylor, The Hon Warren Snowdon MP and Demons officials.

The full report can be downloaded from the Indigenous Eye Health Unit website: http://iehu.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/783912/The_Roadmap_to_Close_the_Gap_for_Vision-_Summary_Report_2013_April.pdf

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About the Author

Worrelle Blow

Worrelle Blow

Worrelle is an Aboriginal woman from the Yorta Yorta and Goreng Goreng nations of Victoria and Queensland respectively. She has worked in the Advocacy Coordinator role at Vision 2020 Australia since August 2006. Worrelle has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs in local and state government and non-government organisations over the last 20 years and especially enjoys the chance to work directly with communities when the opportunities arise. Read more by this author →

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