Prevention of Blindness and Visual Impairment

World report on vision

Eye screening in school in koforidua, Ghana

At the request of Member States issued during a side event to the 70th World Health Assembly, and with the support of experts from around the world, WHO is developing a World report on vision to provide authoritative evidence on the magnitude of vision loss globally, as well as its prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. The report will offer recommendations, including a number focused on ensuring comprehensive and integrated vision services in countries. By helping to shape the global agenda on vision, it is hoped that the World report on vision will assist Member States in their efforts to reduce the burden of vision loss, improve the lives of people with vision impairment, and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG target 3.8 on Universal Health Coverage.

Globally, the impact of vision loss extends far beyond the prevalence of blindness and vision impairment. For the 39 million people who are blind and the 246 million who have a vision impairment, vision loss often represents a lifetime of inequality. People with vision impairment often have poorer health, and face barriers to education and employment. The consequences of vision loss can also be felt within a family. For example, caring responsibilities can reduce the opportunities of other family members to thrive and increase a family’s risk of poverty. The impact is also experienced at the national level, where vision loss can lead to economic deficits and increased direct and in-direct costs to the health sector. With a rapidly accelerating ageing population, the impact of vision loss is expected to rise. The World report on vision seeks to demonstrate ways to overcome these challenges, by showing that investing in vision offers a good return on investment and that people with vision impairment can lead full and productive lives with the right support.

The World report on vision is expected to be launched towards the end of 2018. For more information, please contact Megan McCoy

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Ms. Laura Sminkey
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