(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — VisionSpring’s screening methodology has been adopted by the World Health Organization’s new open-access Training in Assistive Products (TAP). TAP equips primary healthcare providers, such as nurses and community health workers, with the skills they need to identify blurry near vision (presbyopia), dispense reading glasses, and refer for other eye conditions.
WHO’s dissemination of this de-medicalized approach to basic eye care represents a major step forward in addressing the global problem of uncorrected fuzzy vision which affects 1 billion people.
Of the one billion individuals who do not have the eyeglasses they need to see clearly, the majority just require a simple pair of reading glasses. To help solve this problem, VisionSpring pioneered an approach to deploy the simplest, cheapest technology (reading glasses), using local community health employees in countries with few eye doctors.
Since 2006, its Reading Glasses for Improved Livelihoods (RGIL) program has corrected the eyesight of 2 million folks. RGIL’s success drove and informed TAP’s Vision Aiding Products module, along with contributions from other NGOs who have replicated the approach.
Dr . Jordan Kassalow, the particular founder associated with VisionSpring plus co-founder regarding EYElliance, served as lead technical advisor for perspective on the TAP committee in addition to co-authored typically the reading glasses module.
Dr. Kassalow explained, “Back in 2006, this idea that age-related and never vision could be treated outside involving the doctor’s office by community health workers was controversial. People feared that will trusting anyone but accredited medical professionals to perform the basic eye-sight screening would be dangerous.
“Therefore, it is significant that often the World Health Organization has created a program adopting our once radical methodology to allow community staff to screen poor perception – it highlights how the status quo is changing.
“It doesn’t get more mainstream than earning the imprimatur of WHO and it turns a small initiative with achievement in certain markets to a globally accepted methodology that has huge scope in order to scale. ”
The FAUCET training will help governments, health providers and some other development organizations integrate fundamental vision care into their primary care services and accelerate the uptake of reading through glasses.
Reading through glasses are a powerful tool with regard to social and even economic development. They have been shown to improve income earning, productivity, reduce depression and anxiety, and increase participation in community together with family life.
However, in many low- and additionally middle-income nations, reading glasses are only available through hospitals, eye sight centers not to mention optical shops. Whereas in high-income nations around the world, they are readily available as a consumer good in book shops, pharmacies, and even grocery stores.
De-medicalizing access to studying glasses with the help of TAP will make it easy and convenient for millions of people to have their sight checked simply by health personnel and nurses and gain the immediate benefit of ideas correction.
WHO created Learning Assistive Products as an open-source online learning platform to improve access to be able to assistive technologies, that include reading glasses within addition for you to walking aids, emergency wheelchairs, and more.