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About the Vision Loss Expert Group (VLEG)

The Vision Atlas is powered by data produced by the Vision Loss Expert Group.

History of VLEG

The group was convened in 2007 to assist the Global Burden of Disease study (GBD). VLEG populates and curates the Global Vision Database (GVD), a continuously updated, comprehensive online database storing world-wide ophthalmic epidemiological information. The VLEG has published the global, regional and country-level estimates for blindness and vision impairment every 5 years (2010, 2015, 2020) in the Lancet Global Health and other journals.

VLEG works closely with the World Health Organization, for example in providing the 2015 vision impairment data that underpinned the WHO Report on Vision 2019.

VLEG and the Vision Atlas

The VLEG and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness conceived the concept of the Vision Atlas in 2016 as a means of disseminating to any internet user, country-specific prevalence data on blindness and vision impairment, by cause and gender for regions, including functionality to look at time trends. The renewed Vision Atlas in 2020 (following the original launch in 2017) uses data from the VLEG/GBD 2020 model.

For the 2020 estimates, the VLEG has worked closely with the GBD (supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) to update the GBD vision loss model, so that one set of estimates is published by that collaboration.

VLEG funders

VLEG is currently funded by Brien Holden Vision Institute, Fondation Théa, Gates Foundation, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Sightsavers International, The Fred Hollows Foundation and University of Heidelberg. VLEG continues its work of curating the Global Vision Database for future outputs.

Further information on its activities and publications can be found at To contact the VLEG team please email: [email protected]

With grateful thanks to:

Logos of VLEG funders: Brien Holden Vision Institute, Fondation Théa, Fred Hollows Foundation, Gates Foundation, Sightsavers International, and University of Heidelberg

How to cite the Vision Atlas map data and VLEG/GBD 2020 model

Vision Atlas map data is from the VLEG/GBD 2020 model. If distributing/publishing this model’s data by using data obtained from the maps, it is obligatory to reference these 2 published data sources as follows:

Bourne R, Steinmetz J, Flaxman S, et al., Trends in prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment over 30 years: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet Glob Health. 2020. Accessed via the IAPB Vision Atlas (

Adelson, J., Bourne, R. R. A., Briant, P. S., Flaxman, S., Taylor, H., Jonas, J. B., et al., Causes of blindness and vision impairment in 2020 and trends over 30 years, and prevalence of avoidable blindness in relation to VISION 2020: the Right to Sight: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet Global Health. 2020. Accessed via the IAPB Vision Atlas (

VLEG Members

First NameLast NameInstitution
RupertBourneAnglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
WonduAlemayehuThe Fred Hollows Foundation
AriesArditiVisibility Metrics LLC, New York, USA
AlessandroArrigoScientific Institute San Raffaele Hospital, Vita-Salute University, Milan, Italy
YanivBarkanaAssaf Harofe Medical Center, Zerifin, Israel
MukharramBikbovOphthalmology Department, Ufa Eye Research Institute, Ufa, Russia
MicheleBottoneDepartment of Mathematics and Data Science Institute, Imperial College London
BanuBozkurtDepartment of Ophthalmology, Meram Medical Faculty, Selcuk University, Konya, Turkey
TasaneeBraithwaiteMedical Eye Unit, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK
AlainBronService d'Ophtalmologie CHU Dijon, France
DonaldBudenzUniversity of Miami, Miami, USA
RobertCassonUniversity of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Ching-YuChengSingapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore
JaewanChoiHangil Eye Hospital, Incheon, South Korea
Tham YihChungOcular Epidemiology Research Group, Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore
Maria VittoriaCicinelliSan Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.
NathanCongdonThe Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
RezaDanaMassachussets Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
RakhiDandonaGeorge Institute for International Health, Sydney, Australia
LalitDandonaInstitute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
IvaDekarisEye Clinic Svjetlost, Zagreb, Croatia
MonteDel MonteUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
JennyDevaUniversity Tunku Abdul Rahman, Dept of Surgery (Ophthalmology) , Selangor, Malaysia
MohamedDiraniSingapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore
LauraDreerUniversity of Alabama, Birmingham, USA
JoshuaEhrlichUniversity of Michigan, USA
LeonEllweinNational Eye Institute, Bethesda, USA
ArthurFernandesDepartment of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
SethFlaxmanDepartment of Mathematics and Data Science Institute, Imperial College London
MarcelaFrazierUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham
KevinFrickJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA
DavidFriedmanMassachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, USA
JoãoFurtadoUniversity of São Paulo, São Paulo , Brazil
HuaGaoHenry Ford Medical Center, Dept of Ophthalmology
AndrewGazzardInstitute of Ophthalmology, London
RonnieGeorgeMedical Research Foundation, Chennai, India
StephenGichuhiUniversity of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
BillyHammondUniversity of Georgia, Athens, USA
Mary ElizabethHartnettUniversity of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA
MinguangHeUniversity of Melbourne, Melbourne, USA
JamesHejtmancikNational Eye Institute, Bethesda, USA
FlavioHiraiFederal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
JohnHuangYale University School of Medicine, Connecticut, USA
AprilIngramAlberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Canada
JonathanJavittJohns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
JostJonasDepartment of Ophthalmology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany
CharlotteJoslinUniversity of Illinois, Chicago, USA
RimKahlounAssociated Ophthalmologists of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia
JohnKempenMassachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard University, USA
MoncefKhairallahUniversity Hospital Monastir,Tunisia
RohitKhannaL V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India
JudyKimMedical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA
Van CharlesLansinghHelpMeSee, Inc. New York, USA
PaoloLanzettaDepartment of Ophthalmology, University of Udine. Udine, Italy
JanetLeasherNova Southeastern University, Florida, USA
NicolasLevezielUniversity of Poitiers, France
JenniferLimUniversity of Illinois, Urbana, USA
HansLimburgHealth Information Services, Grootebroek, Netherlands.
KawehMansouriClinique De Montchoisi, Lausanne, Switzerland
AlanMorseJewish Guild Healthcare, New York, USA
BeatrizMunozWilmer Eye Institute John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
DavidMuschUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
KovinNaidooUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
VinayNangiaSuraj Eye Institute, Nagpur, India
HenryNkumbeCameroon- further details requested
KolawoleOgundimuSightsavers, UK
MayaPandovaMedical Group, Kuwait Oil Company
Maurizio BattagliaParodiUniversity Vita Salute, Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy
Fernando YaacovPenaFundacion Vision, Asuncion, Paraguay
KonradPesudovsSchool of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
TundePetoThe Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
HarryQuigleyWilmer Eye Institute John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
MurugesanRajuUniversity of Missouri, Columbia, USA
PradeepRamuluWilmer Eye Institute John Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
SergeResnikoffBrien Holden Vision Institute, Sydney, Australia
DanaRezaSchepens Eye Research Inst./Mass Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
AlanRobinJohns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
LucaRossettiUniversity of Milan, Milan, Italy
JinanSaaddineNational Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA
MyaSandarSingapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore
JanetSerleMt Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
TuengShenUniversity of Washington, Seattle, USA
RajeshShettyMayo Clinic, Minnesota, USA
PamelaSievingNational Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA
Juan CarlosSilvaPan-American Health Organization, Columbia
AlexSilvesterSpaMedica, UK
Rita S.SitorusDepartment of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine University of Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia
JustineSmithFlinders University, Adelaide, Australia
JaimeSoria-ViteriHospital Dr. Elías Santana, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
DwightStambolianUniversity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
NinaTahhanSchool of Optometry and Vision Science, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
HughTaylorCentre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
JaimeTejedorHospital Raman y Cajal, Madrid, Spain
JamesTielschJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA
FotisTopouzisUniversity of Thessaloniki, Greece
MiltiadisTsilimbarisUniversity of Crete Medical School, Heraklion, Greece
RohitVarmaDepartment of Ophthalmology for Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, USA
GianniVirgiliDepartment of Ophthalmology, University of Florence, Italy
JimmyVolmink Faculty of Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Ya XingWangCapital Medical University, Beijing, China
Ning-LiWangEye Centre of Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing, China
SheilaWestJohns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, USA
PeterWiedemannLeipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
TienWongUniversity of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
RichardWormaldMoorfields Eye Hospital, London


The following video shows the 2017 VLEG/NASA ‘Science on a Sphere’ installation at the ARVO research conference.