WHO guide aims to help countries tackle global eye care crisis

May 2022

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a guide to help countries address the global eye care crisis by prioritising eye health issues.

The guide, titled ‘Eye care in health systems: guide for action’, aims to help governments, organisations and other key stakeholders deliver high-quality, inclusive eye care. It provides an evidence-based framework to help countries assess their eye health services, plus tools to support countries to achieve WHO’s global eye health targets.

The guide also aims to help implement recommendations in the World Report on Vision, which estimated that without urgent action, the number of people who are blind could triple by 2050. The World Report on Vision drew attention to the growing need for eye health services, provided a set of recommendations to increase equitable access to eye care, and proposed the integration of people-centred eye care services.

Sumrana Yasmin, Sightsavers’ senior global technical lead for eye health, who was part of the team that developed elements of the new guide, said: “Eye health is an often-forgotten element of health and wellbeing, and this has led to a mounting global crisis. The WHO guide is a vital step to addressing this.

“The big task ahead is to make sure that long-term investment, policies and resources are in place to achieve recommendations set out in the World Report on Vision and make use of the tools in the guide. To improve eye health and universal health coverage, it is essential that there is collaboration between governments, non-government organisations, private sector and other stakeholders, and eye health services are integrated into wider health and education systems.”

The guide was launched at the 75th World Health Assembly on 24 May.

A boy in Zanzibar wears special specs to have his eyes tested.

Our eye health work

Sightsavers prevents avoidable blindness and protects the sight of some of the world’s most vulnerable people by providing treatment, distributing preventative medication and training eye care workers.

How we protect sight

Read all our latest news stories

News from Sightsavers
During a press interview in Senegal, a man faces a video camera while speaking into a microphone. Three fellow event attendees are standing behind him.

Senegal launches action plan to collect high-quality inclusive data

The initiative outlines the steps needed to ensure that people with disabilities are represented in official data, which will inform the government’s planning and monitoring.

December 2022
A large group of school students in Malawi. They're wearing bright blue uniforms and are gathered outside, smiling and cheering.
News /

In 2022, thanks to you…

It’s been another amazing year where we’ve been able to protect sight, fight disease and empower people with disabilities. Here, we share our highlights, all made possible by you.

December 2022
A young boy drinks water after receiving preventative medication for lymphatic filariasis in Guinea-Bissau.

Sightsavers awarded grant to fight neglected tropical diseases in Guinea-Bissau

The Astellas Global Health Foundation is giving US$536,700 to help combat river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and intestinal worms.

December 2022