There is a strong link between poverty and eye health, with poverty both a cause and a consequence of poor eye health.
A staggering 90% of all vision loss is in low- and middle-income countries, with the poor and extreme poor among the furthest left behind.
Access to eye care services helps reduce poverty and hunger and increases economic opportunities and employment, including:
- Increased workplace productivity; the provision of glasses to tea workers in India improved productivity by 22%
- Increased household per capita expenditure;the provision of cataract surgeries in the Philippines increased household per capita expenditure increased by 88%
- Increased household income; following the provision of cataract surgeries in marginalised communities in rural India, the proportion of households with a monthly income <1000 Rupees decreased from 51% to 21%
- Improved employment prospects; the provision of rehabilitation services for people with vision impairment increased the odds of obtaining paid employment in the USA by 10%
- Increased national economic productivity; the provision of cataract surgeries in the USA resulted in an $25.4 billion increase in national productivity
The Lancet Global Health Commission estimates an economic productivity loss of $411 BILLION purchasing power parity due to unaddressed poor vision.