The Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium brings together seven Australian non-government organisations which work with national partners to reduce avoidable blindness and vision loss, improving living standards and economic development in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Global Consortium was created to facilitate coordination and collaborative implementation of eye health programs that support achieving the global target of 25 per cent reduction in avoidable blindness and vision loss by 2019, as identified in the World Health Organisation's Global Action Plan: Universal Eye Health.
Global Consortium programs
Since its inception, the Global Consortium has been supported by the Australian Government's Avoidable Blindness Initiative that was established in 2009. The current Global Consortium program is the East Asia Vision Program (EAVP) which builds on the achievements of earlier phases of Global Consortium programs in Timor-Leste, Cambodia and Vietnam. The three-year EVAP was strategically designed to strengthen training and planning capacity for future eye health sector workforce development with national training institutions and national eye health programs.
Through the Avoidable Blindness Initiative the Global Consortium has implemented programs in:
- Papua New Guinea
- Solomon Islands
Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium results
Since 2010, the Global Consortium has screened approximately 840,000 people for eye health and directly supported at least 440,000 treatment services. These figures are lower estimates of what the Global Consortium has achieved as the focus of programs has been to develop clinical skills and ongoing development of local eye health workforces in the region. These figures do not adequately capture the large numbers of people reached by newly trained and practicing eye health workers across the region which by comparison will dwarf anything directly supported by Global Consortium programs.
Some of the key results of the Global Consortium programs include:
- Global Consortium work in Vietnam has helped to lay the foundation for improved coordination and collaboration of stakeholders in the Vietnamese eye health sector.
- The Vision Centre model for localised delivery of refraction services piloted through the Global Consortium in Vietnam is now being promoted by the Vietnam Government for wide-scale adoption.
- Establishment of the first officially certified optometry tertiary training program in Vietnam which is part of a wider effort to establish a recognised optometry profession to delivery quality services nationally.
- Establishment of the first Continuing Professional Development (CPD) system in the health sector of Cambodia. The CPD is being managed and run by the very motivated and active Cambodian Ophthalmology Society in order to progress the quality and recognition of eye health services they provide.
- Developing mentoring and support networks for trainees to build their clinical skills and understanding and for national trainers to stengthen pedagogical techniques and skills across the region.
- Piloting of flexible tertiary level courses in eye health in Timor-Leste that adequately cater for students requiring maternity or family leave of absence. Students are able to return to their studies without penalty.
- Training of local disability organisations in Timor-Leste to have local capacity to run Orientation and Mobility training.
Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium member agencies
The International Agency for Preventable Blindness (IAPB) Western Pacific Region also receives support through the Global Consortium to deliver workshops in the region to enhance communication, encourage good data collection and oversee implementation of National Eye Health Plans.
The Global Consortium works closely with the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Western Pacific Region to support national advocacy for integrated eye health services and drive investment in reducing avoidable blindness and vision loss globally.