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Dear Readers,
Sitenews celebrates its third year anniversary this April. We would like to acknowledge the support of all our readers and well wishers in helping us grow to having readership in over 132 countries. We look forward to your continued patronage and we would encourage you at this point to register as a member if you have already not done so.

In this third year anniversary issue we focus the spotlight back on the theme selected by World Health Organisation on the theme of this years World Health Day international health security. The aim of the Day is to urge governments, organizations and businesses to "Invest in health, build a safer future". We have decided to focus on what does this mean to eye care. Hence the theme Ophthalmic Emergencies in Eye Care focuses on this issue from the ophthalmic angle.

In this issue we look first to understand the Epidemiology of Eye Emergencies, the kind of Ocular Emergency Infrastructure, Diagnosis and Management and Health Education necessary in order to address this issue.

There are also weblinks provided of other websites related to this particular area. The organization we are featuring this issue is World Health Organisation.

We wish you an experience of learning that is very practical. Your feedback will let us know how we can improve. Please write in your feedback at eyesite@aravind.org. We look forward to your feedback.

We wish our readers an informative reading!

Happy Reading!

Regards,

Vision 2020 e-resource team
The Issue Features...
Ophthalmic Emergencies in Eye Care
Vol. 4 No. 4 April 2007
•   Epidemiology (Magnitude)
•   Ocular Emergency Infrastructure
•   Diagnosis/Management
•   Health Education
•   Featured Organization
•   Talk To Us

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Unlike other major blinding disorders such as cataract, trachoma, onchocerciasis or xerophthalmia, where epidemiological studies have contributed significantly to a better understanding of disease patterns, in the case of ocular injuries epidemiological data are scarce or totally lacking for large parts of the world. In fact, eye injuries have been considered a clinical issue, and are mostly addressed within the context of clinical eye care delivery systems including emergency case management. However, like any other eye disorder, eye injuries do not occur as random events: there is evidence that some population groups are at increased risk because of greater exposure to hazards, decreased ability to avoid or detect hazards, and/or a lower likelihood of functional recovery following eye injury. Hence further evaluation and research are required on this area.

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Ocular emergencies can happen anywhere and at anytime. They can be caused by severe weather, infectious diseases, industrial accidents or spills, or by intentional acts. The very nature of an emergency is unpredictable and can change in scope and impact. Being prepared and planning ahead is critical to protecting public safety. The following articles provide important information on planning for emergencies.

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Management and diagnosis of ocular emergency diseases is an important aspect of eye care, and important to target to aid in reducing future disease burden and workload. Injuries can be devastating to individuals and are also responsible for many Emergency admissions to hospital eye services.

These articles are related to most common ocular emergencies encountered in practice today. Readers will be able to gain a broad understanding of the proper methods of ocular emergency diseases also will get an idea to confidently handle any ocular emergency that may present in terms of acute treatment, stabilization, proper referral and follow-up.

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Promoting eye health and preventing eye injuries may be considered the most important aspect of ophthalmic management in the developing world. Raising awareness of eye injuries is an important aspect of health promotion. This can be brought about through carefully planned health education programmes, mass media campaigns and by targeting key groups at risk of eye injuries. It can be avoided by providing Information leaflets, self care leaflets, advice on preventing trauma in sports and industry.

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World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is the United Nations specialized agency for health. It was established on 7 April 1948. WHO's objective, as set out in its Constitution, is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health. Health is defined in WHO's Constitution as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The objective of WHO's prevention of blindness team is to assist Member States to effectively prevent blindness and restore sight, when possible. The global target is to ultimately reduce blindness prevalence to less than 0.5 % in all countries, or less than 1 % in any country.

The WHO Prevention of Blindness (PBL) team works with Member States through WHO regional offices to develop strategies for prevention and control of blindness and visual impairment. Team members, together with our many partners in the field, including NGOs and WHO collaborating centres, work with country-based teams to support the implementation of strategies developed. In addition, to facilitate ongoing strategic planning, the PBL team co-ordinates the collection and dissemination at national, regional, and global levels of data that reflect the burden of visual impairment and the implementation of programme strategies. The principal area of work of the Prevention of Blindness team (PBL) is elimination of avoidable blindness.

Visit WHO at World Health Organization

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Address:

Vision 2020 e-resource team,
Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology,
1, Annanagar, Madurai - 625 020,
Tamil Nadu, India,
E-mail:eyesite@aravind.org
Phone: 91-452-2537580