WATERBURY, Vt., Oct. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — To celebrate World Sight Day on October 12, HCP Cureblindness (Himalayan Cataract Project) is shining a light on avoidable blindness – the 338 million people who are blind or suffer from moderate-to-severe vision impairment – and HCP’s work globally to help individuals in developing countries retain and regain their sight.
Held the second Thursday each October, World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment.
This year, HCP is also supporting the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) #LoveYourEyes at Work Campaign, which encourages workplace vision screenings globally and 10 million sight test pledges by October 12.
Stats on Needless Blindness
- 43 million globally are blind.
- Another 295 million suffer from moderate-to-severe vision impairment.
- 90% of these individuals live in low-to-middle income countries, where poor nutrition and limited access to eye care can mean a life limited by needless blindness.
The Negative Impact
- Vision loss (across all causes) causes $410.7 billion in lost productivity annually. (Lancet)
- Vision loss reduces employment. In people with blindness or moderate-to-severe vision impairment, the overall reduction in employment is 30.2%. (Marques AP, Ramke J, Cairns J, et al.)
- 55% of the world’s blind are women – and 90% of women who are blind are living in poverty. (IAPB)
- Vision loss increases the risk of premature mortality – this risk increases as vision loss becomes more severe. The risk of premature mortality is 157% higher for people with blindness and 49% higher for people with vision loss that is moderate to severe or worse. (IAPB Vision Atlas)
- Children with vision impairment have poorer educational outcomes and are more likely to be excluded from schools. Children with vision loss are two-five times less likely to be in formal education in low- and middle-income countries. (IAPB)
The Solution – In Our Sight
There’s hope – 80% of this burden is treatable or preventable. With early detection and treatment, the impact of many causes of blindness can be treated – and often cured – improving the quality of life for those individuals affected.
- Cataracts – almost half of blindness (17 million) is due to cataracts, which can be cured with a 10-minute surgery and as little as $25 in material costs. Numerous studies have shown that sight restoration with cataract surgery is among the most cost-effective interventions in health care.
- Corneal Blindness – there are millions globally who needlessly suffer from corneal blindness, the scarring of the cornea caused by a wide variety of diseases. In many cases, corneal blindness is preventable or treatable. For the 12.7 million people waiting for a corneal transplant, only one cornea is available for every 70 needed.
“This World Sight Day, HCP is shining a light on why avoidable blindness can – and must – be overcome,” said K-T Overbey, HCP’s Chief Executive Officer. “For more than 25 years, HCP has worked alongside a capable network of collaborators to help people globally retain and regain their sight by developing high-quality, cost-effective eye care systems in underserved areas of the world.”
Started in 1995 by two visionary eye surgeons, Dr. Geoff Tabin and Dr. Sanduk Ruit, HCP works in countries across the world with a focus on those individuals in need in Nepal, Bhutan, Ghana, Ethiopia and India.
HCP’s Impact – Helping Millions
With the help of partners in more than 25 countries, HCP has provided more than 1.4 million sight-restoring surgeries and screened more than 14.5 million people to provide eye care and basic treatments. HCP has also trained more than 19,500 eye health professionals and established five eye hospitals.
“We’ve made great strides, but there’s more to do, and together, we can overcome the mountain of global blindness,” continued Overbey. “This World Sight Day, everyone should learn the easy steps to help the millions who are blind or who have moderate-to-severe vision impairment.”
A $25 donation provides the material cost of one sight-restoring surgery. Please consider giving to unlock someone’s potential. To learn more about HCP, its work, how to get involved or to donate, please visit www.cureblindness.org.
HCP works to eradicate preventable and curable blindness throughout under-resourced communities worldwide. With the help of its global partners, HCP provides high-quality eye care, education and world-class eye care infrastructure in over 25 countries. Since its founding in 1995, HCP has performed over 1.4 million sight-restoring surgeries and provided screening and basic care to over 14.5 million people. Visit: www.cureblindness.org
On behalf of HCP Cureblindness
SOURCE HCP Cureblindness