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COMMUNITY OPHTHALMOLOGY
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 456-459

Critical issues in implementing low vision care in the Asia-Pacific region


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Population Health Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia; Health Services Research Unit, Singapore Eye Research Institute; Centre for Quantitative Medicine, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Population Health Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia

Correspondence Address:
Jill Keeffe
Population Health Unit, Centre for Eye Research Australia, WHO Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Blindness, Locked Bag 8, East Melbourne VIC 8002, Australia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.100549

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Two-thirds of the world's population with low vision resides in the Asia-Pacific region. Provision of comprehensive low vision services is important to improve vision-related quality of life (QoL) for people with this condition. This review outlines the critical issues and challenges facing the provision of low vision services in the Asia-Pacific region. The review offers possible strategies to tackle these issues and challenges facing service providers and policy makers in lieu of Vision 2020 strategies in this area. Pertinent findings from the global survey of low vision services and extensive ground work conducted in the region are used; in addition, a discussion on the availability of services, human resources and training, and funding and the future sustainability of low vision care will be covered. In summary, current issues and challenges facing the region are the lack of specific evidence-based data, access, appropriate equipment and facilities, human resources, funding, and sustainability. These issues are inextricably interlinked and thus cannot be addressed in isolation. The solutions proposed cover all areas of the VISION 2020 strategy that include service delivery, human resources, infrastructure and equipment, advocacy and partnership; and include provision of comprehensive care via vertical and horizontal integration; strengthening primary level care in the community; providing formal and informal training to enable task shifting and capacity building; and promoting strong government and private sector partnership to achieve long-term service financial sustainability.


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