WHO launches first World report on Vision

Recently, WHO has released first of it’s World report on Vision.

Key Outcomes:

  • At least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment or blindness, of which over 1 billion cases could have been prevented or have yet to be addressed.
  • The burden of eye conditions and vision impairment is not borne equally: it is often far greater in people living in rural areas, those with low incomes, women, older people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations.
  • The unmet need for distance vision impairment in low- and middle-income regions is estimated to be four times higher than in high-income regions.
  • Low- and middle-income regions of western and eastern sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have rates of blindness that are eight times higher than in all high-income countries.

Main causes of rising cases of vision impairment

  • The combination of a growing and ageing population will significantly increase the total number of people with eye conditions and vision impairment since prevalence increases with age.

Other main drivers

  • Myopia (near-sightedness): Increased time spent indoors and increased ‘near work’ activities are leading to more people suffering from myopia. Increased outdoor time can reduce this risk.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: increasing numbers of people are living with diabetes, particularly Type 2, which can impact vision if not detected and treated.
  • Late detection: Due to weak or poorly integrated eye care services, many people lack access to routine checks that can detect conditions and lead to the delivery of appropriate preventive care or treatment.

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