As a strong advocate of eye care for everyone, we welcomed news last week from the 74th World Health Assembly (WHA) that it will move to adopt global targets aimed at increasing coverage of critical eye care interventions to prevent refractive errors and cataracts – two of the leading causes of poor vision and blindness.
WHA member states have committed to increasing eye health service coverage for refractive errors by 40%, and 30% for cataract surgery by 2030 and added that countries with an already high coverage rate of 60% or higher “should strive for universal coverage.”
Refractive errors can easily be addressed with corrective glasses; however, as highlighted in our Eliminating poor vision in a generation report, over 2.7 billion people worldwide are estimated to be living with uncorrected poor vision and 90% of them are from base-of-the-pyramid economies where access to affordable eye healthcare and eyewear products is challenging and awareness is low. This report sets out a clear roadmap to eliminating uncorrected poor vision by 2050 through:
- the creation of 1 million new sustainable access points
- innovation to accelerate affordability of products and cost-to-serve
- increased awareness of poor vision and its socio-economic impact
- funding for those most in need who cannot afford to pay for products and services.