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De Lima wants to see a national sight strategy

/ 10:21 AM March 11, 2018

Senator Leila de Lima PHOTO BY ERMA EDERA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has filed a measure seeking to institutionalize a National Sight Strategy to address the prevalence of vision defects, including blindness, in the country.

De Lima filed last Feb. 26 Senate Bill (SB) No. 1709 or the National Sight Strategy Plan Act as she underscored concerns over the serious and negative impact that vision defects pose to the citizenry.

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In a statement on Sunday, the senator cited that about two million Filipinos suffer from moderate to severe visual impairment.

Citing World Health Organization data, she said the Philippines was among three countries in the Western Pacific that account for the most incidence of blindness.

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“Visual impairment results in lost employment opportunities, decreases productivity, impedes learning and diminishes the general well-being of those who suffer from them,” she said.

Under her proposed measure, the Department of Health (DOH) will be mandated to formulate a National Sight Strategy that should address the collection, collation, organization and publication of data and statistics on the incidence and prevalence of vision abnormalities.

The DOH should also lead in the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to address vision health issues, including the conduct of public education promoting and improving vision health at all ages.

It should also lead in the development of the study and practice of vision health-related professions and the undertaking of studies and consultation to formulate recommendations on the inclusion of vision care services in national health programs.

“This proposed measure seeks to address the need to strengthen vision care in the country,” De Lima said. /cbb

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TAGS: Blindness, DoH, Leila de Lima health, National Sight Strategy, news, SB 1709, visual impairment, WHO
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