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Governments missing opportunity to increase economic progress

Published: 22.06.2023
the world is losing sight at a growing rate and urgent action is needed
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Report calls on governments to invest in eye health to address $410.9 billion loss in economic productivity. 

A new report released today calls on governments around the world to invest in eye care services to close gaps in global productivity, address the high unmet needs associated with eye conditions and accelerate progress toward achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).  

Findings in the report written by Deloitte and released by IAPB and funded by Roche, highlight that in 2020 there was an estimated $410.9 billion lost in global economic productivity due to the reduction in employment of people living with vision impairment. With population increases, global population ageing and a trend toward lifestyle changes associated with increased risk of vision loss, this number is set to increase, making eye care a priority area for government investment. 

“Sight loss is not only a health issue, but an economic one too. A loss of sight can have wide-ranging impacts on a person’s life, including on their cognitive development, motor skills, physical activities, socialisation, and overall wellbeing, making it difficult to remain in employment,” said Peter Holland, Chief Executive of IAPB.As this report outlines, investment in eye care services is now critical to avoid escalating social, education and economic challenges in the near future.”  

Released ahead of 2030 IN SIGHT LIVE, IAPBs global event held in Singapore the report recommends urgent investment in four key areas – data collection; national planning and strategic decision making; workforce supply; and prevention and early intervention services – to enable effective and efficient functioning of eye health systems and to address the growing economic impact of vision loss. 

In July 2021, The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution setting a target for vision by 2030, requiring countries to ensure full access to eye care services for their populations and to make eye health part of their nation’s journey to achieving the SDGs. The recommendations for investment outlined in the report are critical to progress toward achieving the SDGs.  

  • You can access the report here

Photo Credits

Image courtesy of the Clinton Health Access Initiative South Africa.