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Impact and Economics

Poverty, Decent Work and Economic Growth

Good vision improves economic opportunities and workforce participation.

Good vision improves economic opportunities.

Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor eye health. Removing the difficulties faced by individuals with vision loss can increase economic opportunities and reduce economic burden.

Access to eye care services helps reduce poverty and hunger and increases economic opportunities and employment.

 

 

Tiles for SDGS 1, 8 and 2

Key evidence from The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health

  • Providing cataract surgery in marginalised communities can increase household incomes and alleviate poverty
    • Following the provision of cataract surgeries in marginalised communities in rural India, the proportion of households with a monthly income <1000 Rupees decreased from 51% to 21%.2
  • Addressing vision loss can increase household expenditure by 36% to 88%
    • Cataract surgery can contribute to poverty alleviation, particularly among vulnerable members of society, and increase household per capita expenditure.3
  • Providing cataract surgery can increase household per capita expenditure
    • The provision of cataract surgeries in the Philippines increased household per capita expenditure increased by 88%.4

Good vision increases workforce participation.

Good vision increases workforce participation and productivity and provides greater economic opportunities for individuals.

 

Tiles for SDGS 1, 8 and 2

Key evidence from the Commission:

  • Vision loss causes huge productivity losses
    • Vision loss is responsible for a global economic productivity loss or US$ 410 billion annually.1
  • Vision loss reduces employment
    • In people with blindness or moderate to severe vision impairment, the overall reduction in employment is 30.2%1
  • Addressing vision loss can increase relative productivity by 22%
    • Provision of glasses for near vision impairment can result in a substantial increase in productivity and income.5

  1. Burton, M., Ramke, J., Marques, A., Bourne, R., Congdon, N., Jones, I. et al. Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: Vision Beyond 2020. The Lancet Global Health (2021).
  2. Finger, R. P. et al. The Impact of Successful Cataract Surgery on Quality of Life, Household Income and Social Status in South India. PLoS One 7, e44268 (2012).
  3. Kuper, H. et al. Does Cataract Surgery Alleviate Poverty? Evidence from a Multi-Centre Intervention Study Conducted in Kenya, the Philippines and Bangladesh. PLoS One 5, e15431 (2010).
  4. Kuper, H. et al. Does cataract surgery alleviate poverty? evidence from a multi-centre intervention study conducted in Kenya, the Philippines and Bangladesh. PLoS One 5, (2010).
  5. Reddy, P. A. et al. Effect of providing near glasses on productivity among rural Indian tea workers with presbyopia (PROSPER): a randomised trial. Lancet Glob. Heal. 6, e1019–e1027 (2018).
Photo Credits

Tile 1 and 4: Graham Coates, Tile 2: Afriadi Hikmal, Tile 3: Seema Sharma, VisionSpring