According to WHO data, 285 million people suffered from visual impairment in 2010, of which 39 million were blind. 80% of the causes of visual impairment are preventable or curable.
In an environment with frequent pediatric reviews, visual problems are detected earlier and evolves better, but there are many places in the world where they lack comprehensive ophthalmic care services in primary care and health systems.
Thus, a visual disability caused by diabetes and premature births will be more difficult to prevent in developing countries, and the same happens with the prevention and management of almost all causes of avoidable visual disability.
Last year it was launched The Global Eye Health Action Plan, which ends in 2019 and whose objective is to reduce avoidable visual disability as a global public health problem and guarantee access for people with visual disabilities to rehabilitation services.
The Global Eye Health Action Plan is based on five principles and approaches:
- universal access and equity;
- human rights;
- the practice based on scientific data;
- an approach based on the entire life cycle;
- the empowerment of people with visual impairment.
Specifically, Member States intend to reduce the prevalence of preventable visual impairment by 25% by 2019 with respect to the base levels defined by WHO in 2010 and make progress based on the premises we have just seen.
An important challenge, for which we hope that there is a place in the agendas of the different countries, since it saddens to see how 80% of the causes of visual impairment are preventable or curable, but there are still many children in the world with this problem (Like many adults, the elderly ...) that will condition their quality of life the rest of their days.
We, we know, have to take the children to the reviews and if we detect any problem in them, let's not let time pass before discussing it with the pediatrician or ophthalmologist.