UN pushes for greater attention to eye care services

Updated: Jul 29, 2021 China Daily Print
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The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution on eye health, aiming to secure eye care for an additional 1.1 billion people by 2030.

The resolution calls on member states to ensure access to eye care services for their population and to mobilize the necessary resources and support in this regard, in order to contribute to global efforts to reach, by 2030, at least 1.1 billion people who have vision impairments and do not now have access to the eye care services they need.

It calls on member states and other stakeholders to include persons with disabilities, including those with visual impairment, in all stages of policymaking and decision-making, as well as to eliminate barriers and discrimination against people with disabilities, in particular women and girls and those in vulnerable situations, in accessing support and healthcare services on an equal basis with others.

The resolution encourages member states to put in place an integrated and whole-of-government approach to eye care, building synergies with other development priorities and strengthening their collaboration with academia, scientists, civil society and the private sector, to improve safe and affordable access to eye care services.

Addressing problem

"Global eye care needs are projected to increase substantially, with half the global population expected to be living with a vision impairment by 2050," the resolution said.

It invites international financial institutions and donors to provide appropriate targeted finances, especially for developing countries, to deal with the increasing impact of vision loss on sustainable development and to build an international campaign on eye health toward the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals and leaving no one behind by 2030.

It recognizes the need to further encourage the transfer of technology from developed countries to developing countries, on mutually agreed terms, to advance access to eye care services and assistive technologies.

The resolution notes the contribution of the private sector, academia and civil society to promoting eye health and encourages the development of public-private partnerships, aligned with national government plans, legislation, contexts and priorities, and national policies and priorities to advance vision for everyone.

It also encourages the World Health Organization and other entities of the UN development system, within their respective mandates, to support global efforts to achieve vision for everyone.

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