It was in 2012 that we last had an update on the latest global prevalence of blindness and vision impairment prevalence that we could use for advocacy and policy. 2017 was the year when we got new data—my congratulations to the Vision Loss Expert group for producing the papers that brought these numbers out. In a remarkable partnership with IAPB, the group worked to present this data as powerful infographics: the IAPB Vision Atlas.
This is an important development; the Atlas is a powerful tool for advocacy and policy out reach. The entire sector can now use one set of peer-reviewed data to present the impact of our work. The IAPB Vision Altas also comes at a crucial time. It captures the impact of our collective work: nearly 90 million people were prevented from becoming blind between 1990 and 2015. It also documents our success stories; we are now in the end-game for eliminating scourges like onchocerciasis and, in the next decades, trachoma. However, the Atlas also charts an uptick in the prevalence, driven by an ageing and growing population, myopia and diabetes retinopathy. The Atlas projects a 5.6% increase in avoidable vision impairment by 2020.
I am confident you will find the IAPB Vision Atlas a powerful tool—copies of the books will have reached you, IAPB members, already. The Atlas is in many ways, Peter Ackland’s swan song. IAPB and a team of trustees are working to recruit a new CEO, though it will be tough to fill Peter’s shoes. We expect to complete the process soon, and Johannes Trimmel, IAPB’s Director for Advocacy, has kindly agreed to be the interim CEO to help us with the transition.
The new year will mark a new beginning for IAPB and the membership. Here is wishing you a very happy new year, and I look forward to working with you in 2018. Do take some time out to browse through our achievements over 2017, below.
IAPB Adds Value
IAPB allows member organisations to build connections and new relationships across the sector. The networking opportunities made possible during IAPB Councils and general assemblies and the collective role we place in advocacy for eye health is irreplaceable. Find out what some of our members have to say…
World Sight Day 2017
578 events in 115 countries
See the World Sight Day 2017 Activities Report
⬤ Screenings / Operations ⬤ Awareness ⬤ Online Events ⬤ Walks / Processions ⬤ Seminars ⬤ Launches / Donations