Children's vision is a priority.
The World Council of Optometry called on world governments to "redouble their commitment to eyecare and make eye health services accessible to all" over the next 10 years.
"As the world population increases and ages, we are entering a new era of blindness and visual impairment — an era where existing efforts are at serious risk of being overwhelmed, potentially leading to a threefold increase in blindness by 2050," the group said in a press release distributed on World Sight Day, Oct. 12.
The latest prevalence data shows that progress between 1990 and 2015 resulted in some 90 million people being treated or prevented from becoming blind or seriously visually impaired. But trends in an aging and growing global population coupled with the increase in myopia and diabetic retinopathy will erode these gains, the group said.
Effective solutions and reliable delivery mechanisms are already available, according to the council.
Dr. Scott Mundle of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada was installed as president of the World Council of Optometry at its recent Second World Congress of Optometry in Hyderabad, India. One of his mandates is children’s vision.
"Children are the future and it is incumbent for us to help them in any way we can," he said. "As far as vision goes, we know that good vision is paramount for a good education and a productive work and social life. It is for this reason I have made children’s vision a central focus of my presidency."
The council said it is proud to support the Our Children’s Vision Campaign.
"The WCO is a Global Supporter and our fundraising initiative (Optometry Giving Sight) is a Global Donor, so it makes sense that we work in this arena," Mundle said. "I look forward to working with everyone on this campaign."