The World Report on Vision suggests that universal eye health coverage (UEHC) can be achieved through an integrated people-centered eye care (IPCEC) delivery. This study provides an estimation of capacity building of facilities and workforce to attain UEHC through IPCEC in South East Asia (SEA) beyond 2020.
The data sources on the magnitude of blindness and visual impairment in the SEA region included reports of the Vision Loss Expert Group, most recent population-based studies from the member states and unpublished data from the study teams. The model is based on the estimated or projected population of the member states in 2020 and 2030.
Data from the ten member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) SEA show that the magnitude of blindness and moderate to severe visual impairment (MSVI) has decreased between 1990 and 2015, but still higher than global average. Cataract and uncorrected refractive errors were the common causes of blindness and MSVI, respectively. The estimated WHO SEA region share of world population is likely to increase from 38.39% in 2020 to 44.32% in 2030, and so also will be the visually impaired people. By adopting the IPCEC the WHO SEA countries would require at least 429,802 community workers, 164,784 allied ophthalmic personnel and 10,744 ophthalmologists in the public facilities in 2030.
In order to attain UEHC and use the IPCEC model, each country in the region should invest substantially more in structured eye care delivery and workforce.