In 2005, the Australian Government formalised its commitment to promoting eye health and vision care and reducing the incidence of avoidable blindness and vision loss in the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss (National Framework).
In May 2013, Australia and the international community further strengthened their commitment to prevent avoidable blindness and vision loss with the endorsement of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Universal Eye Health: A Global Action Plan 2014-19 (the Global Action Plan). The Global Action Plan established a target to reduce the global prevalence of vision loss by 25 per cent and set key national indicators to monitor and track progress.
In 2014, as part of developing the Implementation Plan under the National Framework for Action to Promote Eye Health and Prevent Avoidable Blindness and Vision Loss (National Framework Implementation Plan), the Australian Government partnered with the eye health and vision care sector to support the first National Eye Health Survey. With the completion of the National Eye Health Survey in 2016, Australia led the world in taking the first steps towards fulfilling one of the core objectives of the Global Action Plan.
The 2016 National Eye Health Survey was the first comprehensive national survey of the prevalence and causes of vision impairment and blindness in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and provided a benchmark against which to measure national progress in eye health and vision care.
Equipped with the robust and representative baseline data obtained in 2016, Australia is well positioned to conduct a follow-up study to accurately track its progress in reducing the burden of blindness and vision impairment.