Course 14

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Eyecare needs in emergencies

Convenor: David Lewis


Climate change, urbanization, growing population among other factors, across the globe leads to an increase in natural and man-made hazards. Not only has the frequency in natural hazards increased, but they have also intensified tremendously in terms of severity.

Population movements due to conflict and climate changes have tremendously increased in the past decade leading to complex contexts of humanitarian action. The consequences of those emergencies often developed into long term / chronic crisis.

At the international level new frameworks, standards and guidelines are developed to ensure better management and services provision for people affected by crisis. The Sendai Framework for disaster reduction (March 2015) and the upcoming (May 2016) outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit are setting clear objectives and mechanisms to engage in humanitarian action.

The provision of services in this context poses a number of challenges and aims at survival of affected population with ultimately the objective to recover or improve the pre-crisis context. Emergency responses are often great opportunities to improve the development of the affected area and should be seen as a trigger for increased quality of services and quality of life of people.

Emergency risk management for Health Sector is clearly defined through a number of guidelines however there is very little related to Eye Health, though in some of the context could be of high importance to at risk population such as older people, persons with disabilities, children, etc.


Raise awareness on different emergency contexts (natural disaster, displacement, conflict)

  • Understand humanitarian frameworks
  • Discuss and define roles and responsibility of eye health providers in emergency
  • Look at preparedness measures and contingency plan


David LewisBrief introduction to emergency context and humanitarian framework
Jerry VincentExperience of eye health providers from a refugee camps context
Brigitte HudicourtHaiti earthquake: role of eye health providers and triggers for improved strategy on prevention of blindness
Kola OgundimuResponse to the eye complications resulting from the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leona and Liberia

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