What Kind of Return Does a Dollar Get?

Only social equity, stronger economies, and rediscovered dignity. 

Photo by Joe Raffanti.
Photo by Joe Raffanti.

Eyesight influences most aspects of daily life, from the playground to the job-site, infancy to old age. It’s alarming, then, that one-quarter of the global population – 2.2 billion people – are living with vision impairment, and only half of those get the care they need. More women are affected than men, and the numbers increase sharply with age. Without significant investment in preventative actions, these numbers are projected to increase to 1.8 billion by 2050, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. 

In fall of 2023, Seva Foundation released a groundbreaking report in the World Health Organization Bulletin, proving unequivocally that every dollar invested in eye health returns $36 in benefits across society. On a per-dollar basis, eye care intervention yields the biggest returns compared to returns in nutrition – $13; noncommunicable diseases – $9; and all development – $6. 

For example, in India poor eye health reduces the probability of working by 30%, and those who remain employed are 20% less productive. Caregivers spend 5 to 10% of their time taking care of those with blindness and the worst forms of visual impairment. Restored sight has an immediate and profound effect on the individual who can now go back to school, work, and contribute to their communities.

The Problem is Solvable.

Solutions are inexpensive, proven and scalable. 

Correcting vision costs as little as $10 per year per person, making meaningful, long-lasting solutions inexpensive and scalable. Current solutions such as a pair of eyeglasses or cataract surgery are feasible, require no further technological advancement, no shift in agendas, and no substantial behavioral change, making them easy to scale.

Because of our global network and infrastructures we’ve put in place, we’ve been able to bring down the cost of cataract surgery to $50, providing equitable and sustainable access to vision services in remote parts of the world. Supporting eye health has the potential to make a critical contribution to economies and social justice overall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.