Eye-care services must be comprehensive, encompassing eye-health promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The full range of these services must be integrated into health-care systems and delivered to the population in a stepwise manner. In order for VISION 2020 to meet its goals, services should reach the underserved sectors that exist in all populations, such as ethnic minorities, women, disabled persons and very old people. WHO, ILO and UNESCO are preparing new guidelines for community-based rehabilitation that address the rights and needs of people with disabilities, including those who are irreversibly blind. Efforts must be made to strengthen and promote advocacy about VISION 2020 among decision-makers, to design information, education and communication materials and campaigns and to expand community participation. If uptake is to be increased, awareness about eye diseases and their prevention and treatment must be stimulated by locally appropriate information and dissemination strategies. Inciting the community to take responsibility for its own eye health is one way of ensuring effective, sustainable services.
This section presents an updated approach for implementing the established activity areas, or ‘pillars’, of VISION 2020, which are disease control, human resource development, and infrastructure and technology.