Going beyond health: the role eye care plays in the SDGs | Blogs

Goal 1: Zero poverty

The World Vision Report and The Lancet Commission on Global Eye Health explicitly showed the link between poverty, household income and blindness or visual impairment. Several studies have shown that household income increased after cataract surgery. A strong association between poverty and visual impairment has been reported in many settings. This relationship is likely related to poverty as a cause and consequence of poor eye health.

Goal 2: Zero hunger

With food prices rising around the world, increases in household income and employment prospects protect households from hunger and food instability. As described in the United Nations General Assembly resolution, improving vision and optimizing the functional capacity of people who are blind or visually impaired contribute to both factors while improving economic productivity and in the workplace. These economic benefits are closely linked to SDG1, SDG2 and SDG8.

Goal 4: Quality education

We know that children who are blind or visually impaired are more likely to be out of school. There is a growing body of evidence which demonstrates that the provision of glasses improves educational outcomes. However, we must go beyond simply “fixing” visual impairment and blindness and provide comprehensive healthcare, including support, rehabilitation and the provision of assistive devices to enable children to continue their education.

Goal 5: Gender equality

Women represent 55% of people who are blind or visually impaired. Many barriers prevent women from accessing health care or from obtaining it at a later stage, often leading to worse outcomes. TO Study on tourist tourists carried out in Malawi suggested that women are not only less likely to accept and access treatment, but are also less likely to attend the first point of contact with a healthcare provider, typically an outreach camp. Given the continued inequality in access to eye care services, despite women making up the majority of people who are blind or visually impaired, specific, gender-responsive eye care is needed. The recent UN Women Policy Brief She highlighted specific actions that can be taken to promote gender equality and inclusion through eye health.

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

In 2020, an estimated 143 million people of working age worldwide had moderate to severe visual impairment, and another 18 million were blind. Failure to address workers’ eye health can create economic burdens for everyone, as the annual global productivity loss due to visual impairment is estimated to be at least $411 billion in purchasing power parity. The evidence shows that Interventions to improve vision and functional capacity, reduce poverty, and improve economic prospects..

Goal 10: Reduce inequalities

Poor eye health disproportionately affects low-income countries and disadvantaged groups within countries. TO study showed that people who underwent cataract surgery in Kenya, the Philippines, and Bangladesh were poorer than people without visual impairment before surgery. However, after surgery, there was no difference.

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Visual impairment can reduce driving safety and increase motor vehicle crashes, affecting SDG target 11.2, which aims to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all. The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health found that some causes of visual impairment, such as glaucoma and cataracts, are associated with motor vehicle collisions and unsafe driving practices.

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