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Eye health is important for economic development

Investing in preventing and treating sight loss is cost-effective, improves life quality, and increases productivity.

The economic benefits of investing eye health

Investing in eye health can boost the economy and save healthcare costs and expensive treatments.

Better eye health boosts productivity and job security, with evidence showing that every $1 spent on eye care can yield a $36 economic return.1

Despite its clear value, investment in eye health is inconsistent globally, with some countries spending only 1.5% to 2.7% of their health budgets on this area.2 Yet, the return on investment for eye health often exceeds that of other health initiatives, making it a wise economic strategy.

Read about the economic benefits of investing eye health
Elderly woman painting in India

Eye health and economic development

Vision loss has deep economic impacts, including job loss and reduced work efficiency.

Investing in preventing and treating sight loss is cost-effective and improves life quality, increasing productivity for individuals and society.4

Understanding the financial aspect of eye health is vital to shape effective healthcare policies and improve global eye health sustainably.

Find out more about eye health and economic development
An older man in Saudi Arabia wearing his glasses and enjoying a clear sight.

The economic costs of sight loss

Vision loss costs the global economy $411 billion yearly.

Vision loss leads to a 30% drop in employment for those affected.3

Children with vision impairment often achieve less educationally, impacting their future earnings.5

These statistics highlight the need for investments in eye health to alleviate economic strain.

Find out more about the economic costs of sight loss
Woman looks out a window in a dark room in Bangladesh

Eye health and the world of work

Sight loss can reduce productivity and income.

Sight loss can lead to lower productivity in key sectors like agriculture and manufacturing, potentially leading to reduced incomes and higher poverty.

Nationally, it can slow GDP growth and increase healthcare expenses due to accidents and long-term care.

Find out more about eye health and the world of work
A woman Amélis works as a farmer in Sofala province, Mozambique.

  1. SEVA, “Eye health: a best buy in global health and development,” SEVA, Nov. 2023. Accessed: Nov. 10, 2023. [Online]. Available:
  2. Deloitte and Roche, “Investment in Eye Health to Prevent Sight Loss.” Accessed: Sep. 12, 2023. [Online]. Available:
  3. M. Burton, “Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: Vision Beyond 2020,” The Lancet Global Health, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. e489–e551, 2021.
  4. K. A. Eckert, V. C. Lansingh, M. J. Carter, and K. D. Frick, “Update of a Simple Model to Calculate the Annual Global Productivity Loss Due to Blindness and Moderate and Severe Vision Impairment,” Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 2022, doi: 10.1080/09286586.2022.2072899.
  5. World Health Organization (WHO), “World report on vision,” Geneva, 9789241516570, 2019.

Photo Credits

Health Education Department – Saudi Arabia, Md Harun Or Rashid, Emma Fullerton – Light for the World, Md. Saroar Rahman Prodhan – VisionSpring