Research to improve eye health and progress towards development goals

In 2020, 1.1 billion people are living with untreated vision loss and it is expected to increase to 1.8 billion by 2050. Despite recent years of progress against Against a number of infectious diseases, millions continue to live unnecessarily with impaired vision and blindness. 90% of people with these conditions live in low- or middle-income countries, and blindness disproportionately affects women, rural populations and ethnic minority groups.

The study and research was conducted within the framework of the Lancet Global Health Commission’s collaboration on Global Eye Health. A total of 226 studies were reported on the relationship between eye health care and outcomes or pathways related to the SDGs. These services include cataract surgery, free cataract screening, delivery, trichiasis surgery, rehabilitation services, and rural community eye health volunteers village.

Professor Matthew Burton, director of ICEH at LSHTM, said, “Eye health is often overlooked, but it is an important factor for improving global health and quality of life. , is one of only two studies to examine the links between improvements in a particular health sector and the SDGs, demonstrating that eye health is a powerful enabler of sustainable development. , both directly and indirectly.”

“Currently, eye health is not included in any of the goals and indicators of SDG monitoring. This study is part of a growing body of evidence that suggests eye health policies need to be mainstreamed. education, workplace and social services Interventions, such as Improving Access to Glass and Cataract Surgery, should be prioritized and financially supported That’s exactly what a challenge of this scale deserves.”

The authors found many direct links between eye health services and one or more of the seven SDGs, including:

  • Improving eye health helps reduce poverty (SDG 1) and improve productivity (SDG 8)
    Numerous studies have shown that access to eye health interventions increases productivity, housing costs, and household income. In the Philippines, for example, the per capita cost of cataract surgery has increased by 88% in a year.
  • Improved eye health promotes general health and well-being (SDG 3)
    Additional reviews of this study conducted for the Commission found a link between vision impairment and mortality, falls, dementia, mental health problems, heart disease, respiratory disease and cancer.
  • Improving eye health enhances educational outcomes (SDG 4)
    Good vision is associated with improved educational outcomes. Donating glasses can improve scores in academic exams, a study in China found that donating glasses reduced the rate of failing a class by 44%.
  • Improved eye health raises equity (SDGs 5 & 10)
    Interventions such as training and cataract surgery for rural community eye health volunteers can reduce gender disparities related to participation and treatment. Similarly, income equality has improved through cataract surgery.
  • Improved eye health reduces road traffic accidents (SDG 11)
    It was found that the rate of conflict due to cataract was 2.5 times higher. Studies show that cataract surgery can reduce the risk of accidents while driving and in motor vehicles.

In total, 27 studies reported that eye health services had a positive impact on advancing one or more SDG goals, and indirect effects were suggested for all goals. . Cataract surgery and eyeglasses are interventions with a large number of studies reporting beneficial effects on SDG.

The potential human impact of not including eye health as an SDG goal would affect not only individuals, but communities and countries at large. A vision is a key consciousness that enables people to live, work and contribute to the community to their full potential. It is imperative that good vision be properly prioritized.

Your Excellency, Dr. Aubrey Webson, United Nations Permanent Representative to Antigua and Barbuda and president of the United Nations Visionary Friends group, said, “No one has to live with blindness to be able to afford it. avoidable or fixable visual impairments in the 21st century when we have demonstrated low-cost solutions to these conditions.SDGs represent the highest ambitions of the global community and It’s time for eye health to be recognized as an integral part of that.”

Source: Medindia

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