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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7905

Senator SINGH (Tasmania) (15:43): I, and also on behalf of Senators Moore and Siewert, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 12 October 2017 marked World Sight Day 2017,

(ii) the international theme for World Sight Day 2017 is 'Make Vision Count',

(iii) the Lancet Global Health Journal reported, in 2017, that globally 253 million people are vision-impaired, while the prevalence of blindness is five times higher in low income countries than in high income countries,

(iv) 89% of visually-impaired people live in low and middle-income countries, and 55% of visually-impaired people are women,

(v) recent global estimates suggest that up to 80% of vision impairment and blindness is avoidable through the appropriate implementation of cost-effective prevention and treatment strategies, and

(vi) the American Journal of Ophthalmology estimates that the Global VISION 2020 eye care program could prevent more than 100 million cases of blindness between 2000 and 2020; and

(b) urges the Australian Government to work closely with VISION 2020 members on improving eye health and vision care outcomes across health, ageing, disability and international development to eliminate preventable blindness and vision loss in Australia and in the Asia-Pacific region.

Question agreed to.