6.1 NCDs: Implementation of the action plan for the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment

Secretariat note

The Board is invited to consider a report on the progress made in implementing the action plan for the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment since the endorsement of the action plan in resolution WHA62.1 in May 2009.

Document EB130/8 provides an overview of progress in implementing the action plan for the prevention 

of avoidable blindness and visual impairment since its endorsement by the Health Assembly in resolution WHA62.1 in May 2009, as requested in that resolution. 
The action plan aims
  1. to increase political and financial commitment to eliminating avoidable blindness;
  2. to facilitate the preparation of evidence-based standards and guidelines, and use of the existing ones, for cost-effective interventions;
  3. to review international experience and share lessons learnt and best practices in implementing policies, plans and programmes for the prevention of blindness and visual impairment;
  4. to strengthen partnerships, collaboration and coordination between stakeholders involved in preventing avoidable blindness; and
  5. to collect, analyse and disseminate information systematically on trends and progress made in preventing avoidable blindness globally, regionally and nationally. The plan comprises five objectives, each with sets of proposed actions for Member States, international partners and the Secretariat. 

The document reports on progress against each of these objectives.


See WHO Web page on prevention of blindness and visual impairment

Draft action plan
endorsed by WHA in 2009.


Visual impairment is a huge global challenge, both in terms of the burden of disability and the loss of productivity.  However, to what extent should visual impairment be addressed as a particular set of diseases and disabilities (with needs for experts and standards) and to what extent is visual impairment about decent universal health care and decent attitudes/environments for people living with disabiliities?