Is the 2015 eye care service delivery profile in Southeast Asia closer to universal eye health need!
The year 2015 status of eye care service profile in Southeast Asia countries was compared with year 2010 data to determine the state of preparedness to achieve the World Health Organization global action plan 2019.
Information was collected from the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness country chairs and from the recent PubMed referenced articles. The data included the following: blindness and low vision prevalence, national eye health policy, eye health expenses, presence of international non-governmental organizations, density of eye health personnel, and the cataract surgical rate and coverage. The last two key parameters were compared with year 2010 data.
Ten of 11 country chairs shared the information, and 28 PubMed referenced publications were assessed. The prevalence of blindness was lowest in Bhutan and highest in Timor-Leste. Cataract surgical rate was high in India and Sri Lanka. Cataract surgical coverage was high in Thailand and Sri Lanka. Despite increase in number of ophthalmologists in all countries (except Timor-Leste), the ratio of the population was adequate (1:100,000) only in 4 of 10 countries (Bhutan, India, Maldives and Thailand), but this did not benefit much due to unequal urban–rural divide.
The midterm assessment suggests that all countries must design the current programs to effectively address both current and emerging causes of blindness. Capacity building and proportionate distribution of human resources for adequate rural reach along with poverty alleviation could be the keys to achieve the universal eye health by 2019.
KeywordsSoutheast Asia Eye care delivery Universal eye health
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