Prevention of Blindness and Visual Impairment

Operational research

In cooperation with the US National Eye Institute (NEI) and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the WHO Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Programme (PBD) has undertaken operational research to improve the quality of eye care services in the Member States.

The three aims of this research are:
- To assess the achievements of selected national blindness prevention programmes, with regard to cost-effectiveness, patient satisfaction and outcome.
- To assess the magnitude and type of refractive anomalies in school-age children in different ethnic/cultural settings and develop a simplified school survey protocol. The studies have led to publication of eight peer reviewed articles in ophthalmic literature.
- To provide needed technical assistance for the implementation of blindness prevention research, intervention guidelines for the management of emerging diseases and proper monitoring/evaluation of eye care delivery outcomes.

Following a consultation at WHO in September 2003, a report was prepared on standards for characterization of vision loss and visual functioning which also includes recommended revision of the present definition of blindness in International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD 10)