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‘Love Your Eyes’ calls for funding and regulation changes to make eye care accessible, available, and affordable by 2030
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has today launched the 2022 Love Your Eyes global campaign with the aim of raising awareness of the socio-economic importance of eye health. The campaign calls upon global institutions and governments to do more to support global eye health and aims to get more members of the public educated about the importance of eye health.
As part of the global campaign launch, the IAPB is highlighting programmes and initiatives in India and around the world that are leading the way in providing accessible, available, and affordable eye care.
Over 1bn of the most vulnerable people worldwide have poor vision and no access to treatment. With 90% of sight loss preventable or treatable, the campaign highlights the positive impact eye care can have on education, economic productivity, and safety.
The IAPB is calling on government and industry leaders to focus on three key areas – the provision of more accessible eye care, making sight tests available to more people, and ensuring that glasses are affordable for those who need them.
As part of the global campaign launch, the IAPB has been highlighting programmes and initiatives led by it’s members in India and Kenya who are leading the way in providing accessible, available and affordable eye care.
With sight loss costing Kenya between $229-294 million in lost Gross National Income IAPB is highlighting the work of CBM, The Fred Hollows Foundation and the Nairobi City Eye Hospital, programmes that focus on the importance of outreach to those whose vision is hindering their ability to learn, work and be active.
The cost of sight loss in India is estimated at INR 1,158 billion causing people across sectors issues in the workplace. Sightsavers India are addressing the correlation between poor vision and road traffic accidents with their truckers’ outreach programme. The programme facilitates accessible screenings with the immediate dispensing of prescriptions and spectacles.
A new initiative between Vision Spring in India and the Ministry of Education is working in schools to bring sight tests to pupils to improve their education outcomes. Vision Spring works around India to deliver eyeglasses to people in all walks of life, because it is eyeglasses that improve daily functioning, productivity, and earning potential, creating a greater likelihood of a pathway out of poverty.
The Love Your Eyes campaign will highlight programmes that are successfully addressing poor vision at a local level to those in government and business to encourage them to make systemic changes and investment to improve access to eye care more broadly.
IAPB President, Caroline Casey commented on today’s launch;
“The Love Your Eyes campaign is crucial. Over 1 billion people worldwide have poor vision with no access to treatment. 90% of sight loss is preventable or treatable yet millions of people cannot afford a simple pair of glasses.
“Action and accountability need to come from those in the highest offices. We need governments around the world to unlock funds, prioritise eye care and address regulatory barriers that are stunting access to affordable lenses. We need government and businesses to focus on our children, the elderly, those on the lowest incomes – to ensure that their safety, quality of life, access to education and ability to work is no longer held back by sight issues.
“This is an exciting opportunity to change the lives of over a billion of people on this planet on the decade is there for the taking. This is an ambitious campaign, if we truly want the world to be a better place we must act now.”