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Globally, uncorrected refractive errors (RE) are the main cause of visual impairment, according to recent WHO estimates This translates in millions of people being functionally blind due to lack of access to spectacles, resulting in lost education and employment opportunities, lower productivity and impaired quality of life.
Yet, the positive impact that providing refractive services can have on employment, poverty alleviation and education, as well as eye health, has largely gone un-noticed, even as post 2015 development discussions make positive references to the rights of people with disabilities and the need for rehabilitation services.
Thus the Refractive Error Work Group has an important advocacy role to keep the issue of refractive error on the radar of health and development policy makers.
The group brings together professionals with a mix of technical and regional knowledge from a broad range of member organisations including the World Council of Optometry, the Brien Holden Vision Institute, CBM, Optometry Giving Sight, Sightsavers and the Vision Impact Institute.
Get in touch if you are interested in contributing to the group.