It’s estimated that 285 million people around the world are vision impaired. 90% of the world’s visually impaired live in low-income settings. 80% of vision impairment could be prevented or cured. I’m just going to let those numbers sink in for a moment.
Those stats from the World Health Organisation tell us a great deal about how we think about eyesight and how we care for each other. In many Western countries, vision is a sense that we protect throughout our lives. We have the benefit of sunglasses in the summer and safety glasses at work to help us prevent vision loss. If our eyesight begins to falter, most of us have access to doctors and optometrists who help us see.
But many people in developing countries and low-income settings do not have this kind of protection.
For those of us who have never experienced vision loss, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like if we were unable to see the world in all its glory. It is difficult enough to put yourself in the shoes of a man who is losing his vision because of a condition that cannot be prevented. But imagine how it might feel to not only be losing your vision but knowing that your condition might be cured if only you had more money.
We might not be able to fix this problem in one fell swoop, but together we can help. Quite often, the vision-impaired person might simply need a pair of glasses. But without the access or resources to buy corrective lenses, they continue to be counted with those 285 million people.