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A snapshot of key issues and messages around financial investment in eye health.
Author: Anthea Burnett, IAPB Knowledge Team, August 2022
The costs of eye care (out of pocket costs) can be very expensive –– finding extra money in the household budget to pay for treatment can mean people are pushed towards, or into poverty. Sometimes treating sight loss is just completely unaffordable.
But a good pair of glasses can be the difference between having decent work or not being able to participate in the work force:
Restoring good vision can provide greater economic opportunities for individuals, and increase workforce participation and economic productivity.
Read more about poverty and economic opportunities.
We need to work tirelessly to gain the wider recognition that eye health has significant development, economic and social outcomes.
We can prove that at least US$411 billion a year in productivity is lost because of poor vision. We know that it impacts educational opportunity and performance at work.
We understand the wider impacts of poor eyesight beyond health – but others don’t.
Restoring sight offers economies enormous potential to improve workplace productivity, enhance employment prospects and increase economic productivity.
Read more about how good vision unlocks human potential.
Eye health is currently very underfunded.
The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health reports that to improve eye health, we urgently need more resources from all sources, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Increased and better allocated government funding is central to making progress towards universal health coverage through social health insurance schemes. Alternative financing arrangements also need to be considered.
As a sector, we need to make sure that funding is used wisely to ensure more eye health for the money. Increased data and evidence around the financing of eye care and the value for money of interventions will make a huge difference.
Terry Cooper. Graham Coates, Gioconda Armas