Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Launches Blindness Prevention "Tool Kit"

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

WHO Launches Blindness Prevention "Tool Kit"

Article excerpt

The World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has launched a CD Rom Tool Kit intended to help governments, nongovernmental organizations and health professionals to develop National Prevention of Blindness Plans. The kit, launched on World Sight Day on 10 October 2003, contains the latest information, documents, web sites and slide shows offering practical guidance on how to prevent blindness.

WHO estimates that globally between 40 to 45 million people are blind and 135 million have low vision. This despite the fact that 80 per cent of visual loss can be prevented of cured, according to WHO and IAPB. "The latest research shows that the numbers of people who needlessly become blind are increasing. WHO is committed to reversing that trend," said WHO Director-General, Dr LEE Jong-wook.

The majority of blindness--an estimated 90 per cent--occurs in developing countries where it takes a heavy economic toll at all levels of society through lost productivity. "The cost of education, rehabilitation and lost productivity due to blindness has a significant impact on individuals, families, communities and nations--particularly in the poorest areas of the world. …

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