How can the ARVO community contribute to improving Vision and Eye Health outcomes in response to the call from WHO?

Free webinar: June 22 | 1 - 2:30pm ET
Audience: Clinicians and vision researchers.

In a world built on the ability to see, vision, the most dominant of our senses, is vital at every turn of our lives. Globally, 2.3 billion people are known to have a visual impairment, and at least 1 billion of these have a visual impairment (VI) that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed according to the World Health Organization (WHO) World Report on Vision (WRV) (2019). In the report, uncorrected refractive errors and cataracts were identified as two significant causes of VI that can be addressed. In fact, in 2021 a World Health Assembly resolution that called for a 30% increase in cataract surgeries and 40% improvement in addressing VI by 2030 was approved. If we fail to address the increasing prevalence of myopia, it is expected that 50% of global population will be living with myopia by 2050 resulting in a considerable challenges for countries health systems and their sustainable development.

The WRV highlighted the enormous magnitude of the visual impairment and blindness. The report recommended that eye health and vision care be integrated into universal health models. With eye care being core to delivering health care, the world could see improved access and earlier care. The WRV also emphasized the importance of focusing on care that should be integrated patient-centred.

Additionally, the United Nations (UN) in 2021 passed a resolution unanimously, ie signed by all 193 member countries, that indicated that highlighted that Vision is important, and something(s) need to be done since visual impairment and blindness affect multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Discussions will include presenting models that are already showing benefits, addressing gaps in surveillance, and discussion on how to measure the needed response to the WRV at the country level. In addition, we will attempt to identify the important stakeholders who can influence change and we look to answer how do we, as clinician researchers, work collaboratively with the NGO’s governments, and other stakeholders to design successful programs and demonstrate how can we measure our success and outcome.

Webinar overview: 
In this webinar experts will address action items from the World report on Vision (WRV) with the intention of helping ARVO members to better understand their potential roles in advocating for:

1) The importance that vision and eye health to be included in all health care.
2) The need to help develop an action plan concerning eye research to respond to WHO’s call.
3) Reviewing and measuring the benefit of the eye care packages developed by WHO.
4) Developing suggestions for low/middle incomes countries to address the eye care needs of their populations.

Attendees of this webinar will learn to:

  • Understand the causes and magnitude of the growing prevalence of visual impairment and blindness
  • Highlight the responses that have opened the door for goals in the next decade by the WHO and United Nations
  • Consider potential research questions that can help to measure change and attempt to alleviate the impending increase in myopia prevalence and improve cataract outcomes.

This webinar is hosted by the ARVO Global Members Committee (GMC). A Certificate of attendance will be available to attendees upon request.

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Organizers & moderators

Sandra BlockSandra Block, OD, MEd, MPH
Illinois College of Optometry; World Council of Optometry

Javier CabrerizoJavier Cabrerizo, PhD, MD
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Copenhagen

Zohreh HosseinzadehZohreh Hosseinzadeh, PhD
Leipzig University, Germany

Fabian LernerS. Fabian Lerner, MD
University Favaloro, School of Medical Sciences; World Glaucoma Association

Pamela MartinPamela Martin, PhD
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Ophthalmology, Augusta University



  • WHO World Report on Vision and the Global Prevention of Blindness Initiative

Ivo KokurIvo Kokur, MD, MA, MSc, MBA
International Council of Ophthalmology


  • Addressing global blindness and eye diseases through international research collaborations and training
Gyan Prakash

Gyan "John" Prakash, PhD, MBA
Office of International Program Activities (OIPA), National Eye institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA

  • Supporting access to high quality eye care globally in collaboration with the WHO
Neeru Gupta

Neeru Gupta,MD, PhD, MBA
Unity Health Toronto


  • Universal eye health coverage: from global policy to country action
Stuart Keel

Stuart Keel, PhD
World Health Organization, Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology