NEI Sponsors International Symposium
The National Eye Institute recently sponsored an international symposium on eye care research and service delivery at the Lawton Chiles International House. Along with 24 invited guests, NEI director Dr. Carl Kupfer and NEI associate director Dr. Leon Ellwein reviewed institute collaborations over the past 5 years with the World Health Organization and physician investigators in China, India and Nepal.
The symposium addressed cataract blindness prevention, cataract surgery outcomes, and visual functioning and quality of life assessment in cataract patients. Significant progress has been made in developing countries such as India in increasing the number of cataract surgeries performed to address the cataract blindness "backlog." However, results from recent research collaborations have shown that patients are not realizing the full, sight-saving potential of modern day cataract surgery.
The symposium also addressed recent collaborative surveys of vision impairment among school-age children in Nepal and China. Findings from these surveys have clarified the extent of age- and sex-specific impairment related to refractive error and lack of corrective glasses among children in need.
The symposium ended with discussion of priorities and strategies for service delivery. Participants included representatives from WHO, the World Bank, and the ministries of health in China and India.
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