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International Council for Education and Re/habilitation of People with Visual Impairment
Press release: European coalition for vision 09/10/2014
On the occasion of World Sight Day, the European Coalition for Vision (ECV) set an
ambitious objective to leverage vision and eye health at European level. World Sight Day is a
global event that focuses on bringing attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is
observed worldwide on the second Thursday of October each year.
Meeting on 8 th October 2014 in Brussels, members of the European Coalition for Vision
agreed to develop and promote a European vision and eye health indicator. Today, more
than 80 European Core Health Indicators exist, but none of the current health indicators
fully addresses the eye health issue. Health indicators are sets of data (tables, graphs, maps)
on health status, determinants and care in EU Member States and play an important role in
supporting policy development.
Mr Peter Ackland, Chair of the ECV stated: ‘ECV’s role is to alert European public authorities
on the issue of vision and eye health. ECV is therefore asking for the creation and
implementation of an EU-wide recognized eye health indicator – in order to collect detailed
and harmonized data and consequently better shape European public policy in that respect’.
In parallel, EFAB (European Forum Against Blindness), EGS (European Glaucoma Society),
EGDF (European Guide Dog Federation) and ECV presented in the European Parliament with
an information stand on preventable blindness. Numerous Members of European
Parliament had the opportunity to have a digital retina photograph taken by members of
ECOO (European Council of Optometry and Optics) and to learn more about vision and eye
health. On 7 th October, Honorable Members of European Parliament Marian Harkin, Robert
Howitt and Pilar Ayuso also hosted a dinner-debate on “Vision for Europe: addressing the
challenge of avoidable blindness” at the European Parliament.
Representing professional bodies, patient groups, European and national health, and
disability NGOs as well as trade associations, the ECV aims at raising the profile of eye health
and vision, to prevent avoidable visual impairment and secure an equal and inclusive society
for those with low vision and irreversible blindness in Europe.
Press release: European coalition for vision 04/12/2014
European Coalition for Vision (ECV) regrets the lack of data on vision impairment in Europe and calls for more harmonized data collected at EU level to provide better policy advice to decision-makers. Vision is a vital part of the health dimension that is too often neglected. ECV’s objective is promote a EU eye health indicator that would address this issue.
European Coalition for Vision welcomes the report “Health at a glance: Europe 2014” presented on 3rd December 2014 by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis. The report, based mainly on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI), highlights key trends in health, providing a state of play of Europe’s health.
Chair of ECV, Mr. Peter Ackland, stated: “This report is essential as it provides a good overview of the state of health in the member states. We call on the Commission and Member States to develop and promote a EU eye health indicator, that would complement the data on health to include the field of vision – that would help stimulate further public policy actions in the eye health domain”.
Representing professional bodies, patient groups, European and national health, and disability NGOs as well as trade associations representing suppliers, the ECV aims at raising the profile of eye health and vision to reduce the unacceptably high levels of avoidable vision impairment and blindness, and to secure an equal and inclusive society for those with low vision and irreversible blindness in Europe.
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