Opinion Pieces Propose Steps To Address Visual Impairment Globally

BBC: Why do billions of people still not have glasses?
Tim Harford, presenter for 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

“…Nowadays we take glasses for granted — in the developed world, at least. … In less developed countries, however, the picture is very different — and only recently did we get a clearer view of it. … [A]round the world, some two and a half billion people need glasses and don’t have them. That’s an eye-popping figure but serious people think it’s credible. And many of those people may have no idea glasses could help them. … [E]ven conservative estimates put the economic losses from poor eyesight into the hundreds of billions of dollars — and that’s before you think about people’s quality of life or children struggling at school. … What would it take to correct the world’s vision? Clearly, more eye doctors would help — the number varies widely from country to country. … But while serious eye problems demand skilled professionals, people whose needs are more easily fixable could be reached by other workers…” (11/20).

Devex: Opinion: A vision crisis is looming — unless we act now
Caroline Harper, chief executive of Sightsavers; John “Bob” Ranck of Orbis International; Ian Wishart, CEO of the Fred Hollows Foundation; and Rainer Brockhaus, CEO of Christoffel-Blindenmission Germany to lead Programmes, Fundraising and Communications

“…[A]s the world’s population grows and ages, global blindness and visual impairment are expected to triple over the next three decades. A crisis is on the horizon that, if left unaddressed, could lead blindness to increase to 115 million people globally, with another 588 million suffering from moderate or severe vision impairment. These are alarming statistics. But the good news is that 75% of all blindness and visual impairment is treatable or preventable. If we are to avoid a looming crisis, we must be strategic in how we target and scale up our efforts — and we must start now. … First, we must upskill local eye health teams to provide consistent care for their communities over the long term. … Second, it will be essential to utilize innovative teaching tools and technology to take programs to scale and further our reach. … Finally, we must join forces. Now is the time to act by collaborating to create sustainable eye health resources…” (11/19).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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