The global initiative known as ‘VISION 2020: the Right to Sight’ is an established partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). It was launched in 1999 with the twin aims of eliminating avoidable blindness by the year 2020 and preventing the projected doubling of avoidable visual impairment between 1990 and 2020.
The ultimate goal of the initiative is to integrate a sustainable, comprehensive, high-quality, equitable eyecare system into strengthened national healthcare systems. In May 2006, the World Health Assembly adopted Resolution WHA 59.25, ‘Prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment’, which expanded on the base laid down in an earlier resolution (WHA 56.26) and created a global mandate for VISION 2020.
This document gives eye healthcare providers, policy-makers and VISION 2020 partners an action plan for the activities planned for 2006–2011, although many of the suggestions will be valid well beyond that period. The major base of VISION 2020 activities is at the national level, where monitoring of eye-care services and VISION 2020 activities needs to be improved so that the impact of the interventions on
reducing the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment can be assessed and evaluated periodically.