Victoria’s eye health received a boost yesterday following the commitment by the Victorian State Government to increase the Vision Initiative funding to $3.4 million over four years.
CEO Jennifer Gersbeck said the funding would mean twice as many Victorian communities at risk of blindness and vision loss would now be targeted as part of the program.
“The new funding will see eye health prevention activity rolled out to eight new Local Government Areas by bringing primary health and eye health professionals together to identify those at risk of avoidable blindness and vision loss and encouraging people to have regular eye tests,” Ms Gersbeck said.
“We are pleased the Government has recognised the importance of prevention when it comes to eye health and vision care,” she said.
“Projections show that by 2020 more than 201,000 Victorians will be vision impaired if we don’t take action now. This funding will go a long way in saving the sight of thousands of Victorians.”
The Vision Initiative program has been rolling out a community approach to combating eye conditions and eye disease by working with local eye health and primary health professionals to ensure people with a higher risk of eye disease are detected early.
“Eye tests are critical to healthy eyes and detecting any eye conditions or diseases as early as possible.”
Over the past year, the program has rolled out activity across Darebin, Greater Geelong, Greater Shepparton and Latrobe.
About the Vision Initiative
Managed by Vision 2020 Australia, the Vision Initiative is the Victorian Government’s public health response to the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss.
Commencing in 2002, the aim of the Vision Initiative is to prevent avoidable blindness and address the impact of vision impairment in the Victorian community.
Since October 2013, the Vision Initiative has been piloting local community projects that look to raise awareness of eye health and vision care among at-risk populations in Victorian communities. The pilots apply a multi-disciplinary approach to reduce avoidable blindness and vision loss in these communities.
For more information visit the Vision Initiative website.
About Vision 2020 Australia
Established in October 2000, Vision 2020 Australia is part of VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, a global initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
As the national peak body for the eye health and vision care sector, Vision 2020 Australia represents around 50 member organisations involved in: local and global eye care; health promotion; low vision support; vision rehabilitation; eye research; professional assistance; and community support. For more information visit the Vision 2020 Australia website.
Louise Rudzki, Vision 2020 Australia, (03) 9656 2020, +61 414 784 359, firstname.lastname@example.org