Equity and Blindness: Closing Evidence Gaps to Support Universal Eye Health.

Ramke, J; Zwi, AB; Palagyi, A; Blignault, I; Gilbert, CE; (2015) Equity and Blindness: Closing Evidence Gaps to Support Universal Eye Health. Ophthalmic epidemiology, 22 (5). pp. 297-307. ISSN 0928-6586 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/09286586.2015.1077977

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The World Health Organization Program for the Prevention of Blindness adopted the principles of universal health coverage (UHC) in its latest plan, Universal Eye Health: A Global Action Plan, 2014-2019. This plan builds on the achievements of Vision 2020, which aimed to reduce the global prevalence of avoidable blindness, and its unequal distribution, by the year 2020. We reviewed the literature on health equity and the generation and use of evidence to promote equity, particularly in eye health. We describe the nature and extent of the equity-focused evidence to support and inform eye health programs on the path to universal eye health, and propose ways to improve the collection and reporting of this evidence. Blindness prevalence decreased in all regions of the world between 1990 and 2010, albeit not at the same rate or to the same extent. In 2010, the prevalence of blindness in West Africa (6.0%) remained 15 times higher than in high-income regions (0.4%); within all regions, women had a higher prevalence of blindness than men. Beyond inter-regional and sex differences, there is little comparable data on the distribution of blindness across social groups within regions and countries, or on whether this distribution has changed over time. Similarly, interventions known to address inequity in blindness are few, and equity-relevant goals, targets and indicators for eye health programs are scarce. Equity aims of eye health programs can benefit from the global momentum towards achieving UHC, and the progress being made on collecting, communicating and using equity-focused evidence.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: International Centre for Eye Health
PubMed ID: 26395657
Web of Science ID: 369755700003
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2312459


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