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Enhancing Advocacy for Eye Care at National Levels

The global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness by the year 2020-(VISION 2020- The Right to Sight), established in 1999, is a partnership of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments, bilateral organizations, corporate bodies and the World Health Organization. The goal is to eliminate the major causes of avoidable blindness by the year 2020.

Significant progress has been made in the last decade. For example, the adoption of three major World Health Assembly resolutions (WHA 56.26, 59.25 and 62.1) requesting governments to increase support and funding for the prevention of blindness and eye care. Additionally, the approval of the VISION 2020 declaration, development of plans and establishment of prevention of blindness committees and a designation of a coordinator by most participating countries represent other major achievements. Furthermore there has been increased political and professional commitment to the prevention of visual impairment and an increase in the provision of high-quality, sustainable eye care. Most of these achievements have been attributed to the advocacy efforts of VISION 2020 at the international level.

Jennifer Gersbeck, CEO of Vision 2020 Australia, writes in the Middle East African Journal of Opthalmology

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