CHICAGO/ FEBRUARY 18, 2020/ Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest non-profit eye health organization, will be holding its fifteenth annual “Eyes on Capitol Hill” advocacy day on Wed., Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The annual program provides those from across the United States the opportunity to meet with Congressional and Senate members, and their staff, to discuss vision issues, including access to care, prevention and research.
Data shows that the number of individuals with visual impairment and blindness is increasing in the United States and around the globe as a result of shifting demographics and aging populations. According to the Prevent Blindness report, “Children’s Vision And Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues,” uncorrected vision problems can impair child development, interfere with learning, and even lead to permanent vision loss.
To help address the growing need for vision health support, this year’s Eyes on Capitol Hill advocates will ask elected officials to:
- Invest $5 million in funding for the CDC’s Vision Health Initiative to conduct much-needed surveillance.
- Maintain the CDC’s work in glaucoma prevention and awareness with $4 million.
- Support continued investments to the National Eye Institute (NEI) that will enhance the scope of research to support public health objectives of early detection, prevention, and population health.
Prevent Blindness has also established the Prevent Blindness Policy Roadmap to guide efforts at the federal level to effectively save sight, and to help provide cost effective solutions to government entities, private institutions, and patients.
“Prevent Blindness began back in 1908 as a public advocacy organization, dedicated to preventing unnecessary vision loss,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “The year 2020 is particularly fitting as a time to focus on advocating for vision health issues.”