enhancing and developing eye and vision care worldwide

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  • Enhancing and developing eye and vision care worldwide
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  • Robert Chappell OBE MPhil DSc FCOptom Past President Chairman Legislation Registration and Standards Committee The World Council of Optometry
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  • 3 What is WCO? An international optometric association of over 90 member organisations, representing over 100,000 optometrists, across six world regions. 2
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  • 4 Our vision Our vision is of a world where high quality eye health and vision care is accessible to all people. 4 3
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  • 5 Our mission To facilitate the enhancement and development of eye and vision care worldwide via education, policy development and humanitarian outreach. 5 2 4
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  • 6 WHO 2007 6 2 5
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  • 7 7 2 Why does blindness prevention need our attention? 6
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  • 8 The basics 285 million blind or visually impaired 39 million blind 80% of blindness is avoidable -treatable or preventable, in a cost-effective manner Nine in 10 blind persons live in low income countries Source: WHO, 2012 8 2 7
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  • Cataract5%Glaucoma18%Other4%ARMD50% Ch Bl 3% DR17% CO3% Cataract 50 % Trachoma 4 % Glaucoma12% Oncho 0.8 % Other 14 % ARMD6% Ch Bl 4% DR 4% CO 5% More Developed Countries Less Developed Countries WHO 2006 9 Global distribution of blindness by cause 8
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  • 10 The basics refractive error 153 million visually impaired Vision
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  • Pascolini D and Mariotti, 2011 Global Causes of Visual Impairment (Including Blindness) -2010 10
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  • 12 A costly problem Higher costs of treating and managing diseases at a late stage Lost earnings for the visually impaired and caregivers Lower quality of life in social, economic, health and cultural terms Annual global impact of avoidable blindness and low vision $42 billion 12 2 11
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  • A containable problem Of the 39 million blind worldwide, 17 million could be cured by a 15-minute, 50-dollar cataract operation with a 98% success rate Blindness is not limited by age, socio-economic status or gender 13 2 12
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  • 14 A manageable problem Some blinding diseases and conditions result from poor sanitation and inadequate nutrition The leading causes of avoidable blindness are cataract, refractive error, onchocerciasis, trachoma and vitamin-A deficiency 14 2 13
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  • 15 The main gains of action Reducing blindness is linked to improving access to educational and employment opportunities Reducing blindness alleviates household, community and national poverty Reducing blindness contributes to equality 15 2 14
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  • 16 The main gains of action The right to sight is an essential component of national development and poverty alleviation Productivity gains from reducing visual disability would amount to a saving of US$223 billion over 20 years 16 2 15
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  • 17 The impact The gains would depend on an investment of just 0.23% of the total health expenditure and 9.9% of the expenditure on vision disorders 17 2 16
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  • 18 The broader implications Blindness prevention is a step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in terms of: Poverty eradication and improving access to employment opportunities Universalisation of primary education Improving child and maternal health Combating chronic and life-threatening diseases Promoting gender equality 18 2 17
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  • 19 The process Partnerships between eye care agencies, professional bodies and government institutions Building capacity in human resources and infrastructure within the health care delivery system Integrating eye care into public health systems Committing to the idea vision loss can and must be prevented through high quality, sustainable and equitable services 19 2 18
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  • 20 The gains thus far Significant gains in disease control An enhanced network of training opportunities A focus on permanent infrastructure creation Increased awareness of blindness as an issue that has many consequences Successful service delivery models incorporating sustainability, excellence and fairness 20 2 19
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  • 21 The gaps Acceptance from more governments of the idea that blindness prevention is crucial to human development Greater government commitment in terms of financial and human resources: To establish training programmes To develop infrastructure To incorporate eye care into primary health care 21 2 20
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  • 22 WCOs concept of optometry Optometry is a healthcare profession that is autonomous, educated, and regulated (licensed/registered), and optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and visual system who provide comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, detection/diagnosis and management of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system 22 2 21
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  • 23 WCOs definition of an optometrist WCO has adopted the broad competencies of dispensing, refracting, prescribing and the detection of disease/abnormality as the minimum required for individuals to call themselves an optometrist. 23 22
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  • 24 The importance of WCO As a global body WCO works towards: the enhancement and development of primary eye and vision care by optometrists the promotion of high standards of education and practice by optometrists through international coordination and networking 24 23
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  • 25 Recognition of Optometry by the World Health Organisation (WHO) WCO is recognised and in working relations with WHO Optometry is specifically recognised as an independent eye care profession in the 2007 Vision 2020 Action Plan 25 24
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  • 26 The importance of WCO the support of programmes directed at the provision of eye and vision care to countries in need the promotion of the advancement of the science of optometry 26 25
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  • 27 WCO is making a difference Education Global issues, practice modes teaching Policy and legislation Policy development Optometry development Legal frameworks 27 26
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  • 28 WCO is making a difference Humanitarian outreach World Optometry Foundation (WOF) Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) Strategic Partnerships World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) 28 27
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  • 29 WCO membership benefits Organisations members of WCO benefit from: Participating in a global community committed to enhancing eye and vision care worldwide Access to a worldwide optometric network of knowledge, expertise and influence Having a united global voice for optometry as a key health sector profession 29 28
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  • 30 WCO membership benefits Access to knowledge sharing platforms (conferences) where global optometric issues are discussed Regular members communications and updated information 30 2 29
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  • 31 WCO membership benefits Access to financial support Setting world standards Influence and action 31 2 30
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  • Questions www.worldoptometry.org


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