In recognition of World Sight Day 2020, the UN Friends of Vision, the Permanent Missions of Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh and Ireland to the United Nations, organized a high-Level event entitled '2020 and Beyond: Accelerating Vision for Everyone'.
The event was aimed at bringing awareness and global attention to blindness and vision impairment, as well as discussion with Member States the way forward towards a UN General Assembly resolution on Vision Care and a preview of the forthcoming report of The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health.
WHO ADG Stewart Simonson gave key remarks, presenting WHO's work on the issue and emphasizing the importance of multi-sectoral approach to scale up integrated people-centred eye care for all. He expressed appreciation of the Member States' support in implementing the recommendations included in the WHO World Report on Vision fortified by the recent adoption of the WHA resolution 73.4 - 'Integrated people-cantered eye care, including preventable vision impairment and blindness'.
Dr. Alarcos Cieza: Unit Head, Sensory Functions, Disability and Rehabilitation in WHO, also participated in the technical panel discussion and provided further details on the WHO Report as well as its work on prevention of blindness and promoting eye care.
Participants voiced their concerns of disrupted services for eye care, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and stressed the need to strengthen health systems so that eye care becomes an integral part of health care service delivery to ensure all people obtain the eye care services they need without hindrance or financial hardship.