News and notices. Comm Eye Health Vol. 11 No. 27 1998. September 01, 1998

Journal of Community Eye Health 10th anniversary 1988-1998

The Journal of Community Eye Health is 10 years old! After working in a developing country, my vision was for a Journal which would bring health workers relevant, up-to-date information on ophthalmic clinical practice, research, personal successes and learning experiences, as well as views and comments. Funding was secured by Professor Gordon Johnson, Director, International Centre for Eye Health from Christoffel Blindenmission and Sight Savers International. Today, both organisations continue their generous support to the International Resource Centre.

During the last 10 years there has been encouraging support from a variety of organisations, including HelpAge International, The Coca-Cola Company, The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, The Ulverscroft Foundation, The International Glaucoma Association and the Department for International Development (UK). We thank them, and the many sponsors of individual issues whose support towards publication costs is vital to the Journal’s success.

The circulation is 15,000 to 160 countries, and rising. In 1994, in cooperation with colleagues in India, and supported by the Danish Assistance to the National Programme for Control of Blindness (DANPCB), an Indian edition was published with a 4-page supplement. This has been a success, with our circulation rising in India alone from 2,000 to over 7,000! We pay tribute to our colleagues in India and express real gratitude to DANPCB for their support.

We have experienced many encouragements, and, very occasionally, some difficulties! One concern for the Editor is that accumulated articles are waiting for review and possible publication. My apologies to those who have sent articles to us and are awaiting the outcome. Since we began our thematic approach we have had less space for many good papers. But we still want to receive contributions! We list below the themes that will be covered in 1999 and invite you to send us short reports (5-600 words), comments and letters on relevant topics that contribute to improving practice (publication guidelines are available on request).

Journal survey

In recent months a review of the Journal has been carried out by an independent consultant. Our thanks to the many readers who responded to the questionnaire. The responses tell us that a single issue of the Journal is shared, on average, by 5-8 people. Over 90% of you have a teaching role and for 40%, teaching is a ‘major’ part of your work. More than 90% endorse our theme approach and 60% have advised us of ways in which the Journal has influenced or changed their practice. Significantly, 60% have no access to other literature to keep them informed of current practice and opinion.

While many who read the Journal are ophthalmologists (30%), we are encouraged that 70% are in allied professions involved in eye care services. Our aim is to reach a broad spectrum of health workers, and the survey’s breakdown of colleagues receiving the Journal includes doctors (19%), ophthalmic nurses (12%), general nurses (9%), ophthalmic assistants (8%), medical assistants (7%), optometrists/refractionists (5%), community health care workers (4%) and others, such as administrators and librarians (6%).

We do want individual health workers to have their own copy. To receive your own copy or to add a colleague’s name to our mailing list, please send us a note of your name, occupation and address.

Future Plans

Your feedback has helped us to plan for 1999 and beyond, as follows:

  • Continue to publish 4 issues of the Journal each year. In 1999 the four topics will be: –

    Ageing and the Eye

    The Red Eye; Conjunctivitis and Corneal Ulcer

    Community Participation

    Assessment of Vision

  • Begin a pull-out section on Teaching Eye Health in mid-1999

  • Increase the number of colour pages from the present 4 to 8 in 1999 and then to 12 in 2001

  • Increase efforts to make the Journal available in regional and translated editions

  • Publish a Global Prevention of Blindness Review of selected Journal articles in English in 1999 and in other languages in future years.

The team at the International Resource Centre is supported in its work by the Editorial Review Committee which meets quarterly, our team of Consulting Editors and Language & Communication Consultant, and an Editorial Planning Committee which meets annually. Many others have contributed during the evolving years of the Journal. These include Dr John D C Anderson, Ms Keren Fisher, Mr Pak Sang Lee, Mrs Sybil Lee, Dr Hans Limburg, Mr Hugh Lugg, Dr Sajabi Masinde, Professor Erasmus Oji, Dr Roger Sidestam, Ms Sarah Stubbs and Ms Faith Wakeford.

As Editor, during these years, I express my deep appreciation to these colleagues and friends, and to all who have written for us, whether their articles, comments and letters have been published or have yet to be included. Each one has contributed to the effective impact of this publication which, we believe, has a unique role in the prevention of blindness and community eye health.

Editor: Murray McGavin

News and notices in Comm Eye Health Vol. 11 No. 27 1998 –