This World Earth Day, April 22nd, Vision Aid Overseas joined the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in declaring a climate emergency and calling for action on environmentally sustainable practices in the eye health sector.

This declaration came about from the IAPB’s Climate Action Working Group, of which VAO is a member. The group have also produced a guide for the eye health sector, which shows how we can take efforts to restore our Earth.

The eye health sector has the opportunity to show leadership and accelerate efforts to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change by prioritising the following: leadership, advocacy, sustainable procurement, facilities management, service delivery, education, research and collaboration.

IAPB CEO Peter Holland said:

“Climate events will disrupt eye health service delivery by damaging medical facilities and affecting critical supplies.  In addition to the effects of climate change on health, we recognise that healthcare is a massive consumer of resources and emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for 4.4% of global emissions.

“Climate change disproportionately impacts poor, marginalised and disadvantaged populations and may exacerbate existing or create new inequities in eye health. The Lancet Global Commission on Global Eye Health has stated that environmentally responsible eye health services are essential to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals including SDG 13 on Climate Action.”

Professor Hannah Faal, VAO trustee and former IPAB president, said: 

"The quality of health and life of each human being, living and yet unborn is dependent on and inextricably linked to the quality of 'health' of our home, our planet earth, it's systems, it's creatures. Today, Earth Day, April 22nd,  2021 the global eye health community joins the over 1 billion human beings worldwide to commit to acknowledging how what we do damages the planet, identify what we should do to repair, regenerate, restore, conserve and enhance mother earth. Let’s all (as individuals and collectively) answer the IAPB  Call to Action and adopt and implement the guidelines on Climate Change and the environment."

 

To find out more and to download the guide click here >>>