Commonwealth governments vow to provide quality eye care for all

April 2018
A girl in India holds one hand over her eye during a sight test at school.

Eye health charities and campaigners have applauded Commonwealth leaders for agreeing to make sure everyone in the Commonwealth has access to quality eye care.

Blindness and poor eyesight affect millions of people across every Commonwealth country. At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which took place in London last week, leaders agreed to take action to ensure all citizens can get the eye care they need.

Leaders also called on Commonwealth health ministers to discuss eye health regularly, and asked that progress is reported at future meetings.

Eye health organisations, charities and campaign groups including Sightsavers have been working under the banner Vision for the Commonwealth to raise awareness of avoidable blindness and poor vision. The aim is to unite governments, advocates, service providers and supporters to take action. They congratulated Commonwealth leaders for taking the lead in bringing quality eye care to all those who need it.

Sightsavers CEO Caroline Harper said: “It is hugely encouraging that Commonwealth leaders have committed to take action towards achieving quality eye care for all in their countries. It is especially welcome that they have singled out the aim of eliminating blinding trachoma by 2020. The extra funding from UK aid, announced earlier in the week, will give a real boost to the effort to reach that goal in 10 countries across the Commonwealth.”

85 million
people in the Commonwealth are blind or have poor vision

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