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Global indicators for blindness prevention

The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) has been selected to deliver an internationally significant world-wide project to measure progress towards the elimination of avoidable blindness.

The result of this project will be a framework that can be image-tools (34)used to assess the progress of global initiatives aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness. The project will also help to identify specific areas or countries where additional resources are required to address avoidable blindness.

Avoidable blindness is caused by conditions that could be either treated or prevented by known, cost-effective means.

The indicators will include the causes of vision loss, availability and affordability of eye care services, and issues relating to the health workforce, medical products and technology, health information systems, health insurance coverage and governance.

Professor Jill Keeffe OAM, Head of CERA’s Population Health Unit and Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness, will lead the team delivering this project.

Professor Keeffe said it was an honour to be selected to deliver the project and that it is testament to CERA’s international reputation in preventing avoidable blindness.

“We look forward to working with The Fred Hollows Foundation and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to undertake the necessary research over the next 6 months,” she said. The project is funded by The Fred Hollows Foundation and ORBIS.

“We will be working across the globe, but especially in Africa, Western Pacific and Latin America to ensure the indicators provide useful and valuable data.”

The project will enable countries to:

  • Provide regular updates on the prevalence and causes of blindness and visual impairment according to age, gender and socioeconomic status
  • Standardise data collection systems