The provision of comprehensive eye care services is included in the Philippines’ Universal Health Care, Philippine Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
There are 1.11 million Filipinos with cataract, 400,000 with uncorrected error of refraction, nearly 300,000 with glaucoma, and 200,000 with maculopathy. There are also more than 4 million Filipinos living with undiagnosed eye problems.
“We are fortunate that these diseases can be treated with surgery or prescription eyeglasses,” Duque said in a statement. “These can also be easily prevented with regular consumption of Vitamin A, injury prevention, and immunization for measles and rubella that cause vision impairment.”
The health department hopes to bring easy access and seamless referral to ophthalmic units, comprehensive eye centers, and national ophthalmic specialty centers through the primary care provider network that will be institutionalized under the country’s Universal Health Care, Duque said.