In November 2011, Vision 2020 Australia established the Prevention and Early Intervention Committee to facilitate collaboration among member organisations that are committed to eliminating avoidable blindness through prevention, early detection and intervention in Australia. Its membership is diverse, reflecting a range of expertise and experience.
The key activities and concerns of the Committee include identifying ongoing opportunities within the National Framework Implementation Plan (NFIP) and ensuring the progress and completion of the National Eye Health Survey (NEHS). A representative of this Committee sits on the NEHS Steering Committee which ensures that considerations related to prevention and early intervention are taken into account in the delivery of this landmark survey.
Committee meeting update
The Prevention and Early Intervention Committee met at The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists in Sydney on Thursday 3 August 2017.
Successor to the 2014-16 National Framework Implementation Plan
The Committee discussed ongoing advocacy for an Implementation Plan with state and territory responsibilities under the 2005 National framework for action to promote eye health and prevent avoidable blindness (The National Framework).
It was noted that while a specific eye health and vision care implementation plan would enable continued focus on the sector’s priorities; it is important for Vision 2020 Australia to understand how priority issues and activities fit under current Australian Government frameworks, action plans and all underpinning implementation plans.
It was asked that the Secretariat develop an advocacy action plan for the sector, mapping current priorities against relevant existing national frameworks and distribute to members in early September for input.
2019 National Eye Health Survey
The Committee noted correspondence from the Macular Disease Foundation Australia and the Centre for Eye Research Australia, prompted by the circulation of the 2019 National Eye Health Survey Project Summary in June 2017. Concerns were raised regarding the suggested timing of a 2019 National Eye Health Survey, related to the limited potential for implementing initiatives which would enable a second survey to measure positive outcomes.
Vision 2020 Australia was asked to consult more widely via the development of a position paper reflecting the sector’s concerns regarding the need for and timing of a follow-up National Eye Health Survey in 2019.
A national eye health promotion campaign
The Committee discussed previous eye health awareness campaigns that have been supported by the Australian Government and agreed that an evidence based, public approach is of benefit to the sector. It was asked that the Secretariat work with members to develop a scope and circulate to the Committee for review, feedback and endorsement.
It was agreed that this scope should be considered for inclusion in Vision 2020 Australia’s 2018-19 Federal Budget submission. Nominations to participate in a working group to commence this work have since been requested.
Diabetes Blindness Prevention Initiative
The Committee noted Vision 2020 Australia, Diabetes Australia, and the Centre for Eye Research Australia continue to collaborate on advocacy for Australian Government support of The Case for an Australian Diabetes Blindness Prevention Initiative and that it is anticipated that this initiative will form a key part of Vision 2020 Australia’s 2018-19 Federal Budget advocacy.
- Australian College of Optometry
- Brien Holden Vision Institute
- Centre for Eye Research Australia
- Glaucoma Australia
- Guide Dogs NSW/ACT
- Guide Dogs Victoria
- Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening (IDEAS)
- Indigenous Eye Health, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne
- Macular Disease Foundation Australia
- Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd
- Optometry Australia
- Orthoptics Australia
- Retina Australia
- School of Optometry and Vision Science – University of NSW
- The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
- The Fred Hollows Foundation
- Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation Inc.
- Vision Australia
Previous Committee meeting updates can be found here.