"Pursuing a Common Vision: Opportunities for Collaboration Between the Eye Health and Nutrition Sectors"
HKI's Nick Kourgialis, Victoria Quinn, and Kathy Spahn wrote an article in SIGHT AND LIFE Magazine (2010;3:36-39) about bridging the gap between eye health and nutrition programs.
Considerable progress has been achieved over the past decade in combating the leading causes of avoidable blindness and malnutrition. Nevertheless, the most common approach to addressing these problems in developing countries, vertical programs that focus on a single disorder, may not be the most cost-efficient or effective means to fulfilling the goal of eliminating avoidable blindness by 2020, or addressing the pervasive problem of malnutrition and child mortality highlighted in the Millennium Development Goals.
Currently, in most developing countries, there are grossly insufficient human and financial resources to adequately staff and support public health efforts in many areas, including eye health and nutrition. In order to bridge this gap, opportunities for integration of our efforts in eye health and nutrition that utilize complementary program platforms need to be fully explored to build synergies and improve cost-effectiveness. There are some nutrition programs that offer the potential to address and expand our support to needy populations in eye health, while at the same time there are eye health programs that offer the same for nutrition. This brief article highlights promising opportunities for collaboration between the nutrition and eye health sectors.