Briefing on NGO Coordination with NHFPC(No.9)

2014-03-18

1.An article about China’s prevention of blindness written by government officials of the Bureau of Medical Administration and Supervision, National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) was published in Chinese Medical Journal


2.NHFPC recently restructured the National Technical Guiding Group for the Prevention of Blindness


3. 2014NGO-NHFPC Coordination Meeting will be held in Kunming, 13 - 14 May


4.WPRO of WHO will conduct a ToT for Rapid Assessments of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) in Manila, 9-16 March 2014


5.National Institute of Hospital Administration and ORBIS International will jointly conduct a survey on China’s national eye care capacity and resources and RAAB


6.The Fred Hollows Foundation and IAPB China Secretariat jointly conducted ‘Regional Training Workshop for Management of Prevention of Blindness in the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia


7.Designated by Community Eye Health Journal and supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation, IAPB China Secretariat organized an editorial board meeting in Beijing for the Chinese edition


8.Meetings and workshops


1.An article about China’s prevention of blindness written by government officials (Hu Xiang, Zhang Rui, Xu Xiao, and Zhou Jun) of the Bureau of Medical Administration and Supervision, National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) was published in《National Medical Journal of China》Issue 47, Volume 93, 2013.


The authors first state that the level of people’s eye health is an important indicator of measuring social and economic development of a country/region. Elimination of avoidable blindness and visual impairments is not only a medical issue, but a public health and social issue. Prevention of blindness and visual impairments is also a means to safeguard human rights and realize social equity and justice.


The authors summarize the achievements of China, point out main issues the country are facing, and put forward what government is focusing. The authors praise the work that NGOs have done, deem that NGOs are an important driving force in prevention of blindness and a bridge conveying voice of China to the international community. NHFPC has regularly participated in coordination meetings with NGOs, in order to build a framework within which the work is led by government with participation of all stakeholders.


In talking about the challenges, the authors believe that China is still the country with the largest number of the blind in the world (according to a national survey of 2006, China had 23 million of visual impaired people, of which 6.6 million were blind).  In the meantime, China is facing the challenge of aging population; eye care resources feature inadequate supply, low quality and uneven distribution, while primary eye care work is weak and the information system is imperfect.


In conformity with WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment 2014-2019 - Towards Universal Eye Health and China’s “National Plan for the Prevention of Blindness 2012-2015”, NHFPC will carry out the following work: 1. Integrate eye care services into the development of national health system. 2. Continuously improve rural network of prevention of blindness. 3. Continuously focus on the major blinding eye diseases listed in the objectives of “VISION 2020”; attain 1300 of national CSR by the end of 2015; continuously implement “Sight First: China Action” phase three project; strive to realize in advance the goal of elimination of blinding trachoma in China. 4. Carry out the national survey on eye care resources and epidemiological research on eye diseases. 5. Strengthen awareness raising work and public education of blindness prevention.


2.NHFPC recently restructured the National Technical Guiding Group for the Prevention of Blindness (NTGG). NTGG, established in 1984, has assisted government in undertaking a great deal of work in technical support and guiding, and made contributions to the healthy and rapid development in preventing blindness. Due to recent change and adjustment taken place among former NTGG members, NHFPC restructured NTGG after consulting with provincial health and family planning commissions. Leadership of the new NTGG is as follows:


Director: Wang Ningli (Beijing Tongren Hospital)

Deputy Directors: Tang Xin (Tianjin Eye Hospital), He Wei (He Eye Hospital), Xu Guoxin (The First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University), He Mingguang (Zhongshan Ophthalmic Centre of Sun Yat-Sen University)

Advisors: Sun Baochen (Beijing Tongren Hospital), Zhao Jialiang (Pekin Union Medical College Hospital), Zhao Kanxing (Tianjin Eye Hospital)


The NTGG has a term of three years. Its responsibilities include: Assist NHFPC in development of national plan for prevention of blindness, organize training for professionals of prevention of blindness, study and promote appropriate ophthalmic technology, and carry out academic exchange in prevention and treatment of blindness. The office of NTGG is based in Beijing Tongren Hospital and is responsible for the daily work.


NHFPC requires provincial health and family planning commissions re-adjust their respective Provincial Technical Guiding Group for the Prevention of Blindness (PTGG) and submit the results of the re-adjustment to NHFPC by 1 March 2014.


3. 2014 NGO-NHFPC Coordination Meeting will be held in Kunming from 13-14 May. The meeting will be sponsored by ORBIS International. We are soliciting your suggestions for the agenda of the meeting. Please send your suggestions to IAPB China Secretariat at ltan@iapb.org before 1 May 2014. We will arrange a field trip immediately after the meeting to Xiangyun County, Yunnan Province, and see local model of prevention of blindness at a county level. Participants of the meeting are free to join the trip.


4. WPRO of WHO will conduct a ToT for Rapid Assessments of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB) in Manila, 9-16 March 2014. In line with the global action plan “Universal Eye Health: A Global Action Plan 2014-2019”, a regional action plan “Towards Universal Eye Health: A Regional Action Plan for the Western Pacific Region (2014-2019)” was developed and endorsed by Member States during the 64th session of the Regional Committee in 2013. One of the national indicators identified in the regional action plan is the prevalence of blindness and visual impairment and their causes. In order to collect data on this indicator, the regional action plan proposes countries periodically assess the prevalence and causes of visual impairment.


This training is to provide Member States with tools for surveys and technical advice. One of these tools is the Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness (RAAB). This tool was developed by WHO and has been widely applied around the world throughout the last decade to provide standardized epidemiological data. Data is commonly used for planning purposes or as a measure to assess programme impact.


The training workshop intends to strengthen the capacity of Member States to conduct RAAB surveys. Workshop participants will be trained as RAAB trainers through classroom training and data collection in the field. Trainees from China are Hu Ailian (Beijing Tongren Hospital) and Xiao Baixiang (Zhangshan Ophthalmic Centre).



5.The National Institute of Hospital Administration and ORBIS International will jointly conduct a survey on China’s national eye care capacity and resources and RAAB. An expression of interest has been signed in November 2013. A MoU is planned to be signed in March this year. The purpose of the project is to: 1. Find out resources of government and private eye institutions at provincial, prefecture, and county level, and assess their capacity of providing eye care services. 2. Find out the prevalence of major blinding eye diseases, as well as the latest epidemiological changes. The survey will investigate distribution of resources, capacity of eye care services, major blinding eye diseases, patient intake, cost of treatment and health insurance coverage, CSR, cataract surgical coverage, social and economic burden of blindness caused by cataract, and so on. The survey will be carried out in 9 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) which are selected from the regions of the west, east and central. One or two representing prefectures selected from each of the 9 provinces will be the project site. All eye care institutes at the project site will be targeted.


6.The Fred Hollows Foundation and IAPB China Secretariat jointly conducted the Regional Training Workshop for Management of Prevention of Blindness in the autonomous regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia, 6-10 December 2013. These training workshops, which embraces a promotion of management skills and knowledge for the cadres working on blindness prevention, was the first training of its kind in the two autonomous regions.


About 120 delegates participated in the two training workshops, including officials from local department/bureau of health, officials from PBL offices, eye care professionals from key hospitals at different level, as well as representatives from private hospitals. They had the chance to share information of blindness prevention in their own region, to learn the newly released WHO Western Pacific Regional Action Plan on blindness prevention, and to know resources available in the region which may boost their work of blindness prevention.


Dr. Leshan Tan, the coordinator from IAPB China secretariat, gave a detailed map of resources in blindness prevention by introducing in details of the WPR regional action plan, the national PBL plan 2012-2015, and the work of international NGOs in the country. Learnt lessons and practices from the work of The Fred Hollows Foundation China Program were shared. These experiences included how to advocate multi-sector engagement at county level, human resources development in primary eye care, and the building of 3-level eye care networking system. Issues about how to build a strong local network of eye care integrated into existing health system were discussed among participants. Local practices and experiences were shared during the workshops.


Xinjiang and Ningxia are located in the western part of China. Both are autonomous region with marginalized ethnic minorities and low population density. Comparing to the central and eastern coast provinces which have considerable high population density and dominated Han inhabitants, blindness prevention in Xinjiang and Ningxia need more input and exploration of adaptable models and experiences.


7. Designated by Community Eye Health Journal and supported by The Fred Hollows Foundation, IAPB China Secretariat organized an editorial board meeting for the Journal’s Chinese edition in Beijing, 19 February 2014. 15 participants from NGOs and major eye care institutions attended the meeting. At the meeting, it was decided that two issues of the Chinese edition should be produced in 2014, with the themes of “Glaucoma” and “Balancing the Books”, respectively.


The Chinese edition of the Community Eye Health Journal aims to ensure that up-to-date and relevant eye care information reaches rural primary health workers who have poor access to eye health information in China. Some copies are also sent to China’s policy-makers and leaders in prevention of blindness.


The Chinese edition was previously coordinated, published, and distributed twice a year by NTGG under the direction of the International Centre for Eye Health, the publisher of the Community Eye Health Journal. Circulation is currently 6,000 copies.


8.Meetings and Workshops


The IAPB Council of Members 2014 will take place in Paris, France, 18-21 September. At the meeting, members will have a unique opportunity to communicate a snapshot of their successes, practices and insights. IAPB is offering all members a virtual platform to showcase outstanding work in eye health. Members are invited to submit a poster presentation of a particular project, programme or initiative, which will be part of a virtual showcase highlighting the breadth and depth of members’ efforts to achieve universal eye health. For more details, please see at http://www.iapb.org/council-members-2014.


The 19th Congress of Chinese Ophthalmological Society will be held in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, 17-21September 2014.


2014 WHO Western Pacific Regional Committee Meeting will be held in Cebu, Philippines, 13-17October.