Tuesday, August 2, 2011
IEF Organizes Childhood Blindness NGO Meeting
On 25 and 26 July, more than 60 participants from eye care organizations around the world (11 countries not including the US and Europe) met in Washington, DC for final reports and the official closing of the A2Z Childhood Blindness Program. IEF's Director of Programs John Barrows assisted in the designed of the curriculum with FHI Development 360 (formerly AED) staff and participated in the workshop.
Dr. Khumbo Kalua, Director of the Blantyre Institute for Community Ophthalmology (Malawi), presented results for IEF's A2Z funded research project “Finding Community Solutions to Improved Blind and Visually Impaired Children’s Access and Acceptance to Cataract Surgery in Southern Malawi.” Representatives from eye care organizations in 11 countries reviewed the objectives and accomplishments of the program whose primary aim was to reduce childhood blindness by creating greater awareness, acceptance and use of refractive error, rehabilitation and ocular surgery. After sharing the gains made, discussion moved to translating research into action, exploring new innovative strategies, identifying gaps in services and priority actions to inform future efforts.