IAPB introduces 'Focus on Child Eye Health'

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The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) recently announced an expansion of their ‘Focus on Glaucoma’ and ‘Focus on Diabetes’ series with their new ‘Focus on Child Eye Health’ series in partnership with CooperVision.

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) recently announced an expansion of their ‘Focus on Glaucoma’ and ‘Focus on Diabetes’ series with their new ‘Focus on Child Eye Health’ series in partnership with CooperVision.

Traditionally, these series have concentrated knowledge over the course of a single week; however, this time, this year, IAPB is undertaking a new format.

“The topic will be revisited from January through December — a major commitment corresponding with the importance of the issue,” a press release from IAPB said. “By doing this, IAPB will engage more members than ever before and shine a brighter light on efforts that advance child eye health awareness and advocacy across the vision sector and beyond.”

With last year’s UN Resolution for Vision reinforcing the links between eye health and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, ‘Focus on Child Eye Health’ will take an in-depth look at SDG 4 (Quality Education). IAPB’s school of eye health working group will be highlighting their progress and raising the issues of child eye health with decision makers to push for sight tests and school vision screenings for children around the world.

Commenting on this year’s plans, IAPB’s Chief Executive Peter Holland said in a press release, “We know that there is a lot of great work happening to improve child eye health. IAPB members, patrons and others in the sector have amazing initiatives that are continuously advancing this area and we look forward to learning, sharing and contributing to this work.”

Looking ahead to ‘Focus on Child Eye Health,’ Priya Morjaria, MD, co-chair of the IAPB School Eye Health Working Group acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a global disruption of learning at an unprecedented scale, and a disruption in health systems never seen.

Stuart Cockerill, head of Commercial Operations Specialty Eye Care, CooperVision said, “For more than a decade, CooperVision has been at the forefront of one of the most critical issues in child eye health today: addressing the increasing prevalence and severity of myopia. Our collaboration with IAPB extends our commitment to helping children reach their potential in the classroom and the community, knowing the vital role served by good vision.”

“At IAPB, we know there is an intrinsic link between health and educational outcomes,” Morjaria said. “For example, children with clear, healthy vision are more likely to excel in their studies and better engage with their peers. All children deserve and education, and a child’s potential should not be compromised simply because they cannot see clearly.”