Nearly 1B People Have Preventable Eye Conditions, WHO Report Says; African Experts, Policymakers Meet At Forum On Visual Impairment

The Guardian: Simple eye care could improve sight of more than 1 billion people — report
“More than 1 billion people are needlessly losing their sight because of a lack of simple eye care, according to a landmark report on vision by the World Health Organization. The research has revealed a wide inequality gap for sight and eye conditions. Rates of blindness in low- and middle-income countries are up to eight times higher than in wealthy countries, with people living in rural areas, ethnic minorities, women, and older people suffering disproportionately…” (Lamble, 10/8).

The Telegraph: Almost one billion people struggle to see for want of a pair of glasses, WHO warns
“…The report, published to coincide with World Sight Day, found that roughly half of the 2.2 billion people living with some form of vision impairment have conditions which could be substantially improved, or even prevented, if addressed. This includes an enormous number of people who cannot see because they do not have access to simple eye care, including glasses and contact lenses…” (Newey/Barber, 10/8).

U.N. News: One billion people have preventable eye conditions, increasingly linked to lifestyle choices: U.N. health agency
“…One of the study’s main findings is that prevention is key, since at least one billion people are living with sight problems that could have been avoided with timely treatment. Addressing this backlog of vision impairment or blindness owing to short and far-sightedness, and cataracts, will require $14.3 billion, the agency notes…” (10/8).

Xinhua: African experts, policymakers call for efforts to address needs of visually impaired people
“Experts and policymakers on Tuesday urged African countries and pan African institutions to exert concerted efforts to address the needs of visually impaired people in Africa. They made the call during the seventh Africa Forum on Visual Impairment, which is underway at the African Union (A.U.) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from October 7 to 11…” (10/8).