The World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a target of reducing the blindness in the world by 25 per cent by 2019. It prepared the five-year Global Action Plan with an aim to achieve ‘Universal Eye Health’ during the period.

With a view to discuss to the roadmap, the WHO held a regional workshop at the LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) here on Tuesday. The three-day workshop is being attended by government officials, WHO representatives and other stakeholders. It is being attended by representatives from 11 countries in the South East Asian region.

About 28.5 crore people in the world are visually impaired globally. Of them 3.9 crore are blind and 24.6 crore have low vision with severe or moderate visual impairment. About 90 per cent of the impaired live in developing countries.

Addressing a press conference here, G N Rao, Chair of LVPEI, said that the country could make some progress in addressing the challenge of blindness. It, however, was facing challenges in terms of infrastructure and manpower.

Ivo Kocur, Prevention of Blindness Medical Officer of WHO, told the stakeholders that real time gathering of information related to ocular problems would go a long way in achieving the goals set by the Global Action Plan.

Taraprasad Das, Chair of International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) the success of the Action Plan highly depended on the way it was implemented in South Asia, which is home for one-fourth of the world’s population.

The workshop would come out with a regional plan to achieve the global action plan.