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Vision 2020 – The Right to Sight
Vision 2020 – The Right to Sight Norway Annual report 2008 Background In late 2002 the Norwegian Society of Ophthalmology, the Association of Vision Therapists, The Norwegian Glaucoma Association, the Norwegian Optometric Association and the Norwegian Association Of The Blind And Partially Sighted (NABP) cooperated as a resource group for the Norwegian Health Authorities. The group worked with a project on rehabilitation of blind and partially sighted adults in Norway. In 2005 The Norwegian Optometric Association made a proposal to the other members of the group to jointly start a national V2020 committee as recommended by the WHA 56.26 of May 28th 2003. The committee was approved by the Ministry of Health in a letter dated 13th September 2006. The Ministry of Health supports the committee and sends a representative to the meetings, but the committee is not part of the government structure. The committee had its first formal meeting 17th October 2006. Meeting and elections 2008 The Vision 2020 Norway had only one formal meeting in 2008. The meeting took place on the 16th of September at the NABP premises in Sporveisgata 10, Oslo. On the agenda for the meeting was a proposal to restructure the committee. Up to this meeting the committee had one main committee and two sub committees. One in charge of national issues and one concentrating on international issues. It was decided that at this stage and considering the limited activities it would be better to have only one National v2020 committee and no sub committees. Mr. Bjørn Westerfjell who has served as chair of the committee since its inception, requested to step down and Mr. Terje B Iversen from NABP was elected the new Chair of V2020 Norway. Following these two decisions the Vision 2020 Norway committee now consists of the following members: Name Position Organisation Terje Iversen Chair NABP Arnt Holte Member NABP Unn Ljøner Hagen Member NABP Nina Holst Member Ophthalmology society Ruth Riise Member Ophthalmology society Gunvor B. Wilhelmsen Member Vision Therapists association Mette Cyvin Member Vision Therapists association Bonnie Uchermann Member HiBu Per Kaland Member Glaucoma society Toralf Kaland Member Glaucoma society Bjørn Westerfjell Member Optometric Association Kari Irene Solheim Hansen Member from September Ministry of Health Inger Lise Vestby Member up to September Ministry of Health. Status national plan A first draft for the national V2020 plan was presented at the meeting in September. This is just a starting point and a lot of work remains to be done. Some members expressed a wish to get the work moving faster. Many agreed with this but also stated that this is a long term work. Some members were given special assignments with regards to the national plan and this will be incorporated in the draft plan and discussed in the first meeting of 2009. As a result of this work a revised draft was sent out to the members late December. There are several areas that were identified as to need special attention in the plan. These were among others prevalence’s among children, elderly, people with developmental disability and minority groups. There is a lack of proper statistical material regarding prevalence and demographics in the area of blindness and low vision in Norway. The committee is also concerned that it seems that the Government has not allocated recourses for research within the area of eye and visual impairment. IAPB General Assembly Two members of the committee attended this event that took place in Buenos Aires. Dr. Ruth Riise and Terje B Iversen shared their experience with the rest of the committee. Request to the Norwegian Government Early 2008 a letter was sent from the Vision 2020 Norway to the Norwegian Minister of Health. The letter requested the Norwegian Government to earmark some funds for the WHO prevention of blindness work. Unfortunately there has not been any response to this letter to date. World sight day 9th October 2008 There were no activities organised by the V2020 committee itself but many activities were organised by the various committee member organisations. A seminar was held at the eye department, Ullevaal hospital. The theme of the seminar was the latest developments in research and treatment within the area of eye health. A conference was held at the University of Oslo. Latest research results were presented. Other topics included: Some eye diseases that up to now lead to blindness might soon be possible to treat, how often do Norwegians check their sight and what can the consequences be if this is done too rarely. In addition there was some entertainment by a blind musician. All 65 year old Norwegians received an information leaflet entitled “everything about sight”. In addition most 66 to 70 years old received the same information leaflet. The leaflet was developed by The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted (NABP) in cooperation with the Norwegian Optometric Association, Ministry of Health and the Health and rehabilitation Trust. People with questions related to the leaflet or other issues pertaining to sight or eyes can call a special “hot line sight telephone”, this had extended opening ours 9th October and the following two weeks. A special web page dedicated to “eye” also opened in time for the world sight day. Oslo 06.02.09. Terje B Iversen Chair V 2020 Norway
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