Blindness and vision impairment

World Report on Vision

At the request of Member States issued during a side event to the 70th World Health Assembly, and with the support of experts from around the world, WHO is developing a World report on vision to provide authoritative evidence on the magnitude of vision loss globally, as well as its prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The report will offer recommendations, including a number focused on ensuring comprehensive and integrated vision services in countries. By helping to shape the global agenda on vision, it is hoped that the World report on vision will assist Member States in their efforts to reduce the burden of vision loss, improve the lives of people with vision impairment, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG target 3.8 on Universal Health Coverage.

Update on report timeframes

While the report has been progressing well, there are some areas where work is still ongoing. As such, WHO has decided, in consultation with the Editorial Committee for the report, to delay the release of the World report on vision. (The report was due to be launched on World Sight Day 11 October 2018). WHO understands there is a lot of interest in and support for the report, and will provide an update on the timeframe soon.


Consultation on the draft World report on vision commenced on 29 January and will go until 23 March 2018. The purpose of the consultation is to seek constructive feedback to improve the quality of the report. Comments received during consultation will be taken into consideration in finalizing the report.

WHO Bulletin

The Bulletin of the World Health Organization has announced it will publish a theme issue on vision. Papers submitted to the Bulletin will help to inform the World report on vision. Papers are due on 15 March 2018 and it is expected that the Bulletin theme issue will be published the same time as the World report on vision.

The call for papers for the theme issue may be found in the October issue.

Results from early consultation

WHO undertook early consultation to seek ideas and suggestions on important topics the World report on vision should address. An online survey from 10-23 July 2017 received over 290 responses from all around the world. Some key informant interviews were also conducted.

Key themes from the consultation included:

  • A health systems approach is critical. There was particular feedback on the need to address:
    • human resources
    • health information management systems
    • financing
  • Eye health needs to be integrated into other programmes.
  • There is concern that demands for rehabilitation remain largely unmet.
  • More needs to be done to understand inequity and what can be done about it.

The feedback from the consultation has been helpful in informing the structure of the report.

WHO would like to thank everyone who participated in the consultation.

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Ms Laura Sminkey
Communications Officer
Email: Tel.: +41 22 791 45 47 Mob.: +41 79 249 35 20

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