New WHA resolution on eye health adopted

The World Health Assembly has adopted a resolution for ‘Integrated people-centred eye care, including preventable blindness and impaired vision’.

Led by Australia and Indonesia and co-sponsored by 47 countries, the resolution sets the global agenda for eye health for the decade to 2030, committing to a plan to make eye care an integral part of Universal Health Coverage.

The resolution also asks the WHO Director-General to increase support to countries in implementing the recommendations of the World Report on Vision, support the creation of a global research agenda for eye health, and to work with Member States to develop global targets on eye health for 2030 at the 74th World Health Assembly in 2021.

Health Minister Greg Hunt welcomed the resolution as an important step in ensuring eye health is integrated in health systems as part of universal health coverage worldwide, which, “sends a strong signal of worldwide interest in progressing these important public health issues. We now stand ready to work with the international community to take these commitments forward.”

IAPB President Bob McMullan said the resolution demonstrates the increased recognition among countries of the importance of eye health for health systems and for sustainable development.

“The commitment from all 194 countries will go a long way to bolster eye care within nations – now it is time to turn this political goodwill into action,” he said.

A number of Vision 2020 Australia members have been involved in the preparation of the resolution, and the outstanding efforts of staff at The Fred Hollows Foundation, including Jennifer Gersbeck and Brandon Ah-Tong, require particular recognition.

The passing of this resolution is a significant milestone for the eye sector in 2020, despite a challenging year around the world.

Find out more about the resolution on the IAPB website