285 million people in the world are visually impaired. 19 million of them are children. 80% of all visually impaired can be avoided.
It is estimated that 670 million people, 10% of the world’s population, are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive error and many millions more risk permanently blinding eye diseases because they go undetected.
9 out of 10 children with visually impairment are denied their right to education in India.
80% of all blindness is avoidable and 90% of the blind live in developing countries, where huge disparities exist in service availability, affordability and quality.
Vision loss in the developing world is a largely invisible epidemic, widely under-recognized in the developed countries like the United States where basic eye care can be taken for granted. Worldwide, 39 million people are blind; yet more than 31 million of them could have had their blindness prevented or treated because 80% of all blindness is avoidable.
(HELEN KELLER) Causes of blindness:-
- Cataract affects 62 million people (with 18 million totally blind) – a toll rising dramatically in countries with rapidly aging populations.
- World’s second leading cause of preventable blindness, onchocerciasis afflicts at least 18 million people, primarily in Africa. It is spread by the bites of the black fly.
- Unsanitary conditions through contact with infected persons or flies afflict nearly 150 million people out of which three-quarters are children.
- Commonly known as near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism, refractive error occurs in 25 percent of all US children ages 10-15. In-school vision screening is largely non-existence in underserved communities leaving countless cases of refractive error undiagnosed and its sufferers unable to achieve their full academic or vocational potential.
- Out of some 220 million people with diabetes worldwide, 50 percent will suffer vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy (DR) within 15 years of their diagnosis. Early detection of the vision complication is critical, as untreated DR can lead to blindness. Many health systems in developing countries are ill-equipped to provide the necessary screening and avoid this vision loss.