Global blindness exacts an enormous financial and social cost on developing countries. Reducing the prevalence of blindness globally requires a set of strategies that are different from those typically used in developed countries. This was the subject of the 2013 Knapp symposium at the American Ophthalmological Society Annual Meeting, and this article summarizes the presentations of epidemiologists, health care planners, and ophthalmologists. It explores a range of successful strategies from the multinational Vision 2020 Initiative to disease-specific schemes in cataract, trachoma control, infectious corneal ulceration, cytomegalovirus retinitis, and retinopathy of prematurity. In each example, the importance of an attitudinal change set toward public health becomes clear. There is reason for optimism in the struggle against global blindness in large measure because of innovative programs such as those described here.
Sommer A, Taylor HR, Ravilla TD, West S, Lietman TM, Keenan JD, Chiang MF, Robin AL, Mills RP, for the Council of the American Ophthalmological Society. Challenges of Ophthalmic Care in the Developing World. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(5):640-644. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2014.84