Global blindness: Planning and Managing eye care services

Understand global blindness and how to plan effective eye care. Learn about the WHO definitions of visual acuity, the burden of visual impairment, the Global Action Plan and explore the key management strategies for cataract and refractive error services. Discover how principles of planning can be applied to address local eye care needs.

Week 1: The burden of avoidable blindness


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An introduction to the 5 main course objectives and a chance to think about how you learn. There is also an opportunity to introduce yourself and meet fellow learners for the first time. 


Basic epidemiology

Introducing the field of epidemiology and explaining how it is used to guide public health activities.
Epidemiology of visual impairment Learn the standard definition and classification of visual imairment and examine the magnitude, distribution, and causes of global blindness and visual impairment.


Epidemiology informs eye care development
How does epidemiological information inform the delivery of eye care? We look at one successful programme and invite reflection on how we can use information to make practical interventions.





Week 2: VISION 2020 and Universal Eye Health


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Eliminating avoidable blindness

Discover the ideas behind and achievements of the global initiative VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, which aims to end avoidable blindness by the year 2020.  


Think globally and act locally

Understand the plans to scale up global eye care through Universal Eye Health, and consider how this is applied in local settings through the eye health systems approach. 


Week 3: Cataract control strategies


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How many surgeries are needed? 

How can we deliver the high-volume, high quality, and efficient cataract services needed? What is the role of innovation in eye care, and what opportunities can it offer?cross all health services a relationship is established between the patients and the health provider. For glaucoma care this relationship is lifelong.

Managing the quality and cost of cataract surgery

Service provision and referral pathway alignment is an important consideration for glaucoma management

Week 4: Refractive error control strategies


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Refractive errors and school health



What are the factors which affect refractive error service delivery? Why is school vision testing an effective way of addressing this burden?


Service provision for refractive errors

How can we make refractive error services sustainable in low- and middle-income settings? 


Week 5: How to plan


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Planning : analysing the situation

When planning for change we need to know where we are now. What tools and methods can help us figure this out?


Setting the programme direction

Once we know where we are and have identified gaps in the current provision, we can choose our direction and focus for change.

Week 6: Implementing and monitoring the plan


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Primary open-angle glaucoma: Who to treat and how

The goal of glaucoma management flowchart

The aim of glaucoma care is to preserve and promote the quality of life of a person.

Treatment options for open-angle glaucoma

Glaucoma care requires skilled personnel who can work in teams

Treatment can be medical, surgical or lasers for glaucoma on their own or in combination to address the specific requirements for every patient.

Recognising and treating angle-closure glaucoma

An illustration of laser treatment Iridocorneal angle closure is the fundamental problem in primary angle-closure glaucoma, while elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is a consequence of angle closure.

Managing the consequences of glaucoma and related vision loss

Illustration of services available for eye care

The negative impact of blind, painful eyes due to glaucoma on patients’ quality of life cannot be underestimate

Course summary

Screening for glaucoma

Glaucoma management is lifelong. The public health approach is to develop a close link between the patient and the health system to prevent blindness

Join this Course on Future Learn

On Demand and CPD Accredited available now – Sign up on FutureLearn

Content on this course is also provided in Spanish and Portuguese.

separate French course also available (On Demand and CPD Accredited): La Cécité dans le Monde: Planifier et Gérer les Services de Soins Oculaires.