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World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) has official relations with the ICO. The ICO is the only nongovernmental organization that represents ophthalmology among the 202 organizations in official collaboration with WHO.

The overall goal of the ICO’s collaboration with WHO is to strengthen eye health systems with a view to reducing levels of avoidable blindness and visual impairment in the world.

Universal Eye Health: a global action plan 2014-2019

In May 2013, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a new global action plan for prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, for 2014–2019. The plan sets a global target of a 25% reduction in the prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 2019 from the baseline of 2010.

The ICO is working with WHO and national ophthalmologic societies to update the number of ophthalmologists worldwide, as this is one of the key indicators from the Global Action Plan:

Eye Care Service Assessment Tool (ECSAT)

The ECSAT provides guidance for assessing the status and functionality of a country’s eye care service on the basis of the six areas of the WHO framework for strengthening health systems.

It is intended to help eye care planners and decision-makers to identify gaps in eye care service provision, in order to strengthen access to high-quality, comprehensive, integrated eye care service. The ECSAT is available in English, French, and Spanish.

Model Lists of Essential Medicines

The WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines sets a global standard and provides a basis for advocacy within countries for funding for drugs and coverage in health insurance programs.

The WHO Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines meets every two years to review the latest scientific evidence on the efficacy, safety and cost effectiveness of medicines in order to revise and update the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines for both adults and children.

International Classification of Diseases-11 (ICD-11)

The International Classification of Diseases is WHO's global standard to report and categorize diseases, health-related conditions and external causes of disease and injury in order to compile useful health information related to deaths, illness and injury.

The ICO Task Force on ICD-11 coordinates the Topic Advisory Group (TAG) for Ophthalmology—to formulate definitions and diagnostic criteria for the relevant categories, and to suggest changes to the classification structure.

This 11th revision to the ICD is a major one; it aims to serve not only the WHO's need for public health statistics, but also the terminology needs for Electronic Medical Records and other Health Information Technology applications.

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