A milestone decision was made at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, last week, that will change the lives of many people living with poor eyesight across the Commonwealth.

After many months of campaigning for visual impairment to be recognised as a looming health crisis, on Friday 20th April at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), a ground-breaking decision and commitment was made to bring quality eye care to all 53 nations of the Commonwealth.

Speaking on the success; Mr James Chen, Founder of Clearly told us;

This is a historic day and a turning point in helping the world see clearly. The Commonwealth has become the first international forum to tackle the world's largest unaddressed disability by committing to 'quality eyecare for all.' It has shown real leadership. The challenge now is twofold—to work with Commonwealth leaders to help deliver this promise and convince other countries to follow their example. The prize is in sight.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting brings together leaders from all the member countries of the Commonwealth to reaffirm common values, address shared global challenges and agree on how to work to create a better future for all Commonwealth citizens, especially young people.

In recognition of a more sustainable future in health, paragraph 33 of the communique from CHOGM states;

Heads welcomed global, regional and national efforts to combat malaria and other mosquito borne diseases and committed to halve malaria across the Commonwealth by 2023. They also urged acceleration of efforts to reduce malaria globally by 90 percent by 2030. They further committed to take action towards achieving access to quality eye care for all, including eliminating blinding trachoma by 2020, which disproportionately affects women and children across the Commonwealth. Heads acknowledged the work done by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust in that regard. Heads agreed that progress on these commitments should be considered every two years at the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting and progress should be reported at CHOGM.

This is significant triumph towards achieving a world where everyone, everywhere has access to clear vision. To find out more about vision for the Commonwealth click here.