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June 2004

Global Health, Global Vision

Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(6):911-912. doi:10.1001/archopht.122.6.911

Today's vision preservation and blindness prevention enterprise canbe traced to the founding of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindnessand the World Health Organization's Blindness Prevention Program in the late1970s. In many ways, it anticipated the larger global health agenda withinwhich it now resides and with which it increasingly competes for attentionand resources.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the world united in the successful eradicationof smallpox. It was a monumental achievement of enlightened self-interest:poorer countries were spared the scourge of an untreatable disease while wealthiercountries were spared the adverse effects and complications of vaccination.1

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