Recognizing that growing ethnic minority populations are at higher risk for many eye diseases, yet often have less access to and lower awareness of the need for preventive care, Prevent Blindness America and Transitions Optical, Inc., have introduced a new “Focus on Eye Health and Culturally Diverse Populations” report. The report–which overviews the serious eye health risks faced by African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics–is intended to serve as both a resource and call-to-action for government agencies, policymakers, organization leaders and patient advocates to make eye health education among these groups a national priority.
The report was developed following Prevent Blindness America’s “Focus on Eye Health Summit,” held on June 20, 2012 in Washington, D.C., and complements the 2012 update of the “Vision Problems in the U.S.” report, which was released during the event.
“While prevalence of eye disease is increasing among all populations, a special focus needs to be placed on educating culturally diverse groups, who are disproportionately affected by many of our nation’s most serious eye health issues,” says Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. “Through the multicultural report, we are seeking to bring national attention to these risks, as well as convey an urgent need to ensure that all health messages are culturally appropriate.”
U.S. Census data has indicated that more than 70 percent of Asian Americans and Hispanics speak a language other than English at home.
“Language and communication barriers can make it even more challenging for at-risk groups to receive adequate eye care,” says Manuel Solis, multicultural marketing manager, Transitions Optical. “By simply making available bilingual and in-language education, our nation’s leaders can help to alleviate health care disparities.”
The “Focus on Eye Health and Culturally Diverse Populations” report is made possible through an educational grant from the Transitions Healthy Sight for Life Fund. To download the report, visit the News & Resources section of PreventBlindness.org/VisionProblems.