An Invisible Emergency

Vision is a globally-neglected public health issue.

A staggering 2.4 billion people - one third of the world's population - suffer from poor vision and lack access to local and affordable eye care.

Global Vision Statistics

  • 4.3 billion people are affected by poor vision
  • 2.4 billion cannot access the eye care they need
  • 80% of these live in developing countries
  • $202 billion of global productivity is lost each year as a result of poor vision

The impacts of poor vision are cross-cutting.

It is a major barrier to securing and keeping paid work. This is true across the spectrum of employment, including:

  • Clerks and office workers unable to read and write well
  • Artisans and textile workers with lower levels of production speed and quality
  • Manual labourers and farmers making costly or dangerous mistakes

The problem is severe for older workers as near vision commonly deteriorates after age 40. Family members of individuals who wear glasses also benefit. Vision loss in a parent or grandparent directly affects children, especially those who have to leave school to care for their elders or to work to contribute to the family income.

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26%
lower income-generating potential for basket weavers with poor vision in Rwanda

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13%
lower work speed for basket weavers with poor vision in Rwanda
Rwanda coffee sorter reading glasses

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202b
$202 billion of global productivity is lost each year as a result of poor vision
Infographic