Health Promotion Forum


Eye Health promotion in challenging times


  • Dr Alarcos Cieza, Unit Head, Sensory Functions, Disability and Rehabilitation, WHO
  • Peter Holland, CEO, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness
  • Dr Fatima Kyari, Director, Institute for Medical Research and Training, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja
  • Dr R Venkatesh, CMO-Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry
  • Jane Barratt, Secretary General, International federation of Ageing, Canada
  • Martine Abel-Williamson, President, World Blind Union and Senior Human Rights Advisor, New Zealand Human Rights Commission

Organized by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)

Almost everyone on the planet will experience an eye health issue in their lifetime but more than 1 billion people are needlessly living with sight loss. Promoting the importance of healthy vision during COVID-19 presented many challenges. The pandemic resulted in the suspension and disruption of eye care services across the world, with significant complications for older people who were most in need of eye care but also most at risk of COVID-19. A greater time spent indoors and on screens increased the risk of vision impairments, particularly among children. And people living with sight loss faced barriers in obtaining accessible and inclusive health information. These challenges sparked a surge and expansion of innovative solutions to promote healthy vision and reach those most in need. In this session we reflect on the things we got right, and wrong, and how these lessons can be applied across health promotion initiatives.