Vision health is critically important for all aspects of a person’s life, including physical health, social engagement, education, employment, and socioeconomic position. Reduced vision affects a person’s ability to perform daily activities and increases a person’s risk for developing other health problems and premature death. It can also cause economic stress on individuals and society from direct medical expenses and indirect expenses related to loss of mobility and productivity. Vision health is rarely included in public health programs designed to prevent or manage chronic diseases because of limited resources and competing priorities and, as a result, most public health agencies lack the framework or guidelines they need to appropriately address vision and eye health as a public health issue.
A new toolkit is available to build the capacity of public health agencies and their partners to assess the burden of vision impairment, develop effective partnerships, implement appropriate interventions, and evaluate the impact of their efforts.