Blindness prevention and control

Blindness prevention and control

Photo: The Fred Hollows Foundation

In the Western Pacific Region, over 90 million people experience visual impairment. Over 10 million are unable to see at all, being blind. Blindness can be avoided in eight out of 10 cases with appropriate treatment or early prevention.

The vision of the Blindness Prevention and Control programme in the Western Pacific Region is "a world in which nobody is needlessly visually impaired, where those with unavoidable vision loss can achieve their full potential, and where there is universal access to comprehensive eye care services".

The programme aims to assist Member States to reduce avoidable visual impairment as a public health problem and to secure access to low-vision and rehabilitation services for the visually impaired. Capacity in countries will be enhanced through integration of comprehensive eye-care services in health systems.

General objectives are focused on the need for evidence-based advocacy, encouraging the development and implementation of eye health policies and programmes, and fostering multi-stakeholder partnerships to strengthen eye health. Member States are encouraged to formulate their own specific and appropriate objectives in line with the global target of 25% reduction in the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 2019 (from the 2010 baseline).

Uncorrected refractive error

153 millionpeople worldwide live with visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive errors.

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Diabetic retinopathy

Over 75%of people who have diabetes for more than 20 years will have retinopathy.

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1/2of the world's blindness is caused by cataract.

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51countries are fighting the spread of trachoma in their communities.

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Featured publication

Towards Universal Eye Health: a Regional Action Plan for the Western Pacific (2014–2019)

Upcoming events

Regional Meeting to Review and Accelerate Country Progress in Prevention of Avoidable Visual Impairment

26–28 October 2015 (Manila, Philippines)


Blindness Prevention and Control
Division of NCD and Health through the Life-Course
World Health Organization
Regional Office for the Western Pacific
P.O. Box 2932
1000 Manila