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Education: International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (June 2023)

In June 2023, the 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE conference was hosted by SERI in partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), with over 350 delegates from more than 50 countries attending the 2-day summit. It was the largest gathering to advance accessible, available and affordable eye care to all by 2030. 

The event brought together experts and thought leaders from the eye health and development sectors to address the challenges of ensuring eye care for all. Discussions included strategies to integrate eye care into wider health systems and devise solutions to activate demand from the ground up.

During the opening address, Prof Jodhbir Mehta, Executive Director of Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) and Deputy CEO (Research) at Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), warmly welcomed the delegates and shed light on the pivotal roles of SERI and SNEC in translating innovations into real-world outcomes. He highlighted the Singapore Integrated Diabetic Retinopathy Programme (SiDRP) programme and the role of Myopine in slowing the progression of myopia.

H.E. Ambassador Walton Aubrey Webson, co-chair of the United Nations (UN) Friends of Vision group and the permanent representative from Antigua and Barbuda to the UN, praised SERI and SNEC for their crucial contributions to the global eye sector. He emphasized that eye health should be seen as a "development problem" rather than just a "health" issue to maximize its benefits.

Key points 1 highlighted by speakers include:
  • 2.2 billion people around the world are living with visual impairment
  • For 1.1 billion people, this is due to lack of access to basic eye care
  • 90% of these people are from lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs)
  • Almost twice that number (2.2 billion) are living with vision impairment
  • All this result in a global cost of $411 billion from a loss of productivity.

Prof Aung Tin, CEO of SNEC added, “This event represents an extraordinary opportunity for collaboration as we gather as a global community to workshop some of the greatest challenges to universal access to eye care. I encourage everyone to transcend borders, cultures, and disciplines for our common purpose.”

The conference agenda was packed with engaging workgroup meetings, enlightening plenary sessions, and enriching masterclasses. Various topics were explored, including the 2030 Global Targets and gaining insights into emerging trends, risks, and opportunities, as well as their implications for global eye health. Panel discussions also covered the role of AI and deep learning in shaping the future of eye health, along with associated concerns.

It is gatherings like 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE that help us collectively become future facing, predict trends and embrace technology and new partnerships. They focus our efforts and help us refine our case that eye health is not an optional extra. It is vital to everything. The Singapore National Eye Centre and Singapore Eye Research Institute are shining examples to the world of the future of global eye health, and we are grateful to them for hosting IAPB’s global event,” said Peter Holland, IAPB Chief Executive.

Reflecting on the event, Prof Jodhbir Mehta mentioned, “It was a great privilege for SERI and SNEC to hold the IAPB event this year. It provided a great opportunity for us to showcase the talent, ambition, and exciting work we do at SERI/SNEC and to showcase Singapore as a frontrunner in the field of ophthalmology, both regionally and internationally. There were many good collaborations and networking sessions established at the meeting, and I want to especially thank all the hard work from the SERI admin team in arranging the logistics.”

1 World Health Organisation Feb 2023, Technical Brief: Increasing Eye Care Interventions to Address Vision Impairment ( 

Contributed by:

 Ms Wong Cui Yan
 Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
 Singapore National Eye Centre

Dr Laxmi Ravi Iyer
Senior Executive, Corporate Communications
Singapore National Eye Centre


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