Across Australia, too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still experience avoidable vision loss and blindness, and those who have lost vision often find it difficult to access the support and services they need.
For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are three times as likely as non-Indigenous people to be blind or have low vision and on average, currently wait 63% longer for cataract surgery.
Strong eyes, strong communities: a five year plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander eye health and vision charts a course to close the gap for vision and achieve a world class system of eye health and vision care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Based on available evidence and shaped by the collective input of many individuals and organisations, Strong eyes, strong communities describes an integrated suite of activities that need to be progressed over the coming five years. In combination, these will
- expand service delivery,
- strengthen partnerships and local supports,
- embed eye care into community controlled and mainstream services,
- eliminate trachoma, and
- sustain the focus on monitoring progress.
This blueprint for change recognises that improving eye health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is everybody’s business, and that the collective efforts of governments, communities,service providers and others are essential.
Together, a world class system that delivers culturally safe eye care to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is within our reach.