New Report Aims to Make Eye Health a Public Health Priority
Vision impairment leads to major challenges, such as social isolation, depression, and injuries in adults and developmental, academic, and social issues in children. People with lower socioeconomic status and poor health are at even greater risk for negative outcomes related to poor vision. And yet vision impairment is often left out of population health agendas or community programs.
Today, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report, Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow, that issues nine concrete recommendations for improving eye and vision health and increasing health equity. Research to Prevent Blindness and nine other organizations provided sponsorship for the study, which proposes a much-needed framework to improve eye and vision health for all in the United States, and addresses both correctable and uncorrectable vision impairment.
The recommendations fall under five key themes:
Facilitate Public Awareness through Timely Access to Accurate and Locally Relevant Information;
Generate Evidence to Guide Policy Decisions and Evidence-based Action;
Expand Access to Appropriate Clinical Care;
Enhance Public Health Capacities to Support Vision-Related Activities; and
Promote Community Actions that Encourage Eye- and Vision-Healthy Environments.
RPB is committed to generating more and better evidence through the support of grants that allow researchers to target the causes of and potential treatments or cures for vision disorders that can lead to blindness. In the report, Recommendation 4 specifically speaks to the need for such grant programs, led by a common research agenda developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with public, private, and community involvement.