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    NASEM declares eye health a public health imperative

     

    The report calls for a population-health approach to increase the awareness of eye and vision health beyond the clinical setting. The committee also emphasized the multifactorial components of the problem, including access to safe work and play environments, access to clinical care, and health literacy. Preventing underlying chronic diseases, such as diabetes, can also reduce the prevalence of vision impairments, they said.

    Steven M. Teutsch, MD, MPH, chairman of the committee, reported on the three goals of public health being assessment, policy development, and assurance (putting plans into action), as well as the determinants of public health, including a variety of factors such as individual behavior, healthcare access, and care quality.

    Dr. Teutsch is also an adjunct professor at the Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

    While the committee members embodied a wide range of fields in medicine and public health, they all were grounded on core principles involving integration of evidence- and population-centered solutions that are standardized, collaborative, culturally competent, and tailored to specific communities.

    The full report included nine recommendations which aim to:

     

    ·      Facilitate public awareness through timely access to accurate and locally relevant information

    ·      Generate evidence to guide policy decisions and evidence-based actions

    ·      Expand access to appropriate clinical care

    ·      Enhance public health capacities to support vision-related activities

    ·      Promote community actions that encourage eye- and vision-healthy environments

     

    AAO praises report

    Jolie Higazi
    Jolie is the Content Specialist for Ophthalmology Times. She can be reached at [email protected]

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