VANCOUVER, April 25, 2019 /CNW/ - Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) is warning that Canada is facing an emerging vision health care crisis that, if not addressed, will see the number of people living with blindness double by 2031.
Blindness is the most feared disability amongst Canadians. In addition to the 1.5 million people living with vision loss today, over 5.59 million Canadians live with eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, which put them at serious risk of going blind.
Fighting Blindness Canada called for a national vision health strategy that entails: a national public health campaign for vision loss prevention; better access to existing vision-related medications and treatments; greater access to emerging treatments such as gene therapy, stem cell therapy, and pharmaceuticals; increased research funding to advance science into clinical trails; access to genetic testing; and the creation of a national talent plan to address the decreasing number of ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and other eye professionals.
FBC unveiled its call for a national strategy in Vancouver, where the organization, formerly known as Foundation Fighting Blindness, also launched its new name and expanded mandate.
"We are changing our name to Fighting Blindness Canada to reflect our mission to accelerate the development and availability of treatments and cures for all blinding eye diseases," said Doug Earle, President and CEO. "Throughout our 45-year history, research has always been our focus. All the research we fund supports our goal of understanding why vision loss occurs, how it can be slowed or stopped, and how sight can be restored."
While in Vancouver, FBC and FBC-funded researchers will showcase the latest information about sight-saving research and emerging treatments for blinding eye diseases at several events for the public and scientific community.
About Fighting Blindness Canada
Fighting Blindness Canada (FBC) is the largest private funder of vision research in Canada. FBC has contributed over $40 million to the search for sight-saving cures and treatments for blinding eye diseases. With the support of its generous donors, FBC has funded over 200 research grants that have led to over 600 discoveries such as stem cell research, neuroprotective therapies, technological developments, pharmaceuticals and gene therapies. Visit fightingblindness.ca or call 1.800.461.3331 to learn more.
SOURCE Fighting Blindness Canada
For further information: Greg Descantes, 604-646-3564, [email protected]; Bryn Turnbull, Communications Officer, Fighting Blindness Canada, 416-669-4476, [email protected]