We know eye health affects nearly everyone at some point in our lives. Worldwide, there are currently 1.1 billion people living with vision impairment, and hundreds of millions more have ongoing eye care needs.
Improved eye health is essential to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG for short). That means eye health is critical to achieving goals related to poverty, hunger, education, gender equality, and decent work, in addition to overall health and wellbeing. A Lancet Commission Report released earlier this year noted that the economic impact of vision impairment is massive, with a current estimated productivity loss of $411 billion per year globally.
Springtime brings a sense of renewal, and after a year of uncertainty with COVID-19 looming over everyone’s fate, many parts of the world can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Here in the US, with the rollout of various vaccines, I am reminded that in many parts of the rest of the world, people are still struggling with COVID, access to care, and even more significant health challenges due to the various mutations. Scientists have moved mountains; yet we must ensure that the work to save lives continues. For Seva, the work continues with safety first, as we provide life-saving and essential eye care needs to some of the world’s most marginalized communities.
As a public health organization that has been active for over 40 years in 20+ countries, Seva has amassed a great deal of information pertaining to the safe and effective delivery of eye care. To bring this knowledge to the forefront, Seva recently sponsored the Lancet Commission Report on Global Eye Health and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’ Vision Atlas. This groundbreaking new report and research tool provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of eye care and a roadmap for how to proceed in creating a world free of avoidable blindness.