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Investing In Eyeglasses In Developing Nations Could Boost Global Economy, Study Shows

“Eliminating the worldwide shortage of eyeglasses could cost up to $28 billion, but would add more than $200 billion to the global economy, according to a study” conducted by researchers from Australia and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and published last month in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the New York Times reports. “The authors assumed that 703 million people worldwide have uncorrected nearsightedness or farsightedness severe enough to impair their work, and that 80 percent of them could be helped with off-the-rack glasses, which would need to be replaced every five years,” the newspaper writes, noting, “The $28 billion would cover the cost of training 65,000 optometrists and equipping clinics where they could prescribe eyeglasses, which can now be mass-produced for as little as $2 a pair” (McNeil, 11/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.