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The WHO Executive Board (EB117), January 23-28 2006, is recommending for consideration to the WHA59, May, 2006 the following resolution:

  NMH EB117 resolutions:

EB117/R4: Prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment

According to the most recent (2002) estimates, more than 161 million people were visually impaired, of whom 124 million people had low vision and 37 million were blind, with up to 75% being avoidable. Given projected demographic changes and population growth, the incidence of chronic, noncommunicable diseases affecting eyesight is expected to increase.

Blindness and severe visual impairment have a significant impact on the socioeconomic development of individuals and societies. Prevention of avoidable visual impairment leads to substantial long-term savings in health-care and social expenditures.

The Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness, known as Vision 2020 – the Right to Sight, was launched in 1999 as a partnership between WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to eliminate causes of avoidable blindness by the year 2020 and to halt and reverse the projected doubling of avoidable visual impairment in the world between 1990 and 2020. Resolution WHA56.26 urged Member States to commit themselves specifically to setting up national Vision 2020 plans not later than 2005 and to begin implementation of these plans by 2007.

This EB resolution requests Member States and WHO Secretariat, inter alia, to reinforce efforts to set up national Vision 2020 plans as called for in resolution WHA56.26 and to provide support for Vision 2020 plans by sustaining necessary funding at the national level.

Related links

- Resolution
- Report of the secretariat
- Blindness
- Vision 2020

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