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Plan for second National Eye Health Survey

21/06/2017By Matthew Woodley • Staff Journalist
The Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and Vision 2020 Australia are planning a second National Eye Health Survey (NEHS) to track the progress being made in reducing blindness and vision impairment in the country.

The 2016 NEHS was the first comprehensive national survey to investigate the prevalence and causes of vision impairment and blindness in Australia, and Vision 2020 Australia CEO Ms Carla Northam said it provided a critical foundation to build on.

“Our work is not done. Equipped with the robust baseline data from 2016, Australia is well positioned to conduct a follow-up study. High-quality national data collected at two time points will allow for projection of the trends in vision impairment and major eye disease in Australia at a level of sophistication that has not been possible before,” she said.

“It will also strengthen Australia’s eye health and vision care evidence base, helping to guide future resource allocation, policy development and economic analysis for effective service delivery in Australia.”

The rise in the prevalence of diabetes and its associated eye diseases, as well as the expected increase in vision loss issues resulting from an ageing population, will be two key areas tracked in the second survey. It will also help determine the level of progress being made in the Close the Gap health campaign with regard to Indigenous eyecare.

Preparations for the new survey are expected to commence this year, with data collection to take place from September 2018 until April 2019. The results would then become available later in the year.

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