Blindness and Visual Impairment in Developing Nations
Eye conditions treatable in their early stages in developed nations are frequently left untreated in the poorest parts of the world and often lead to impairment or blindness. The majority of blindness cases are curable and could be avoided by prevention and early treatment. Being blind in developing countries often means being considered an outcast. In fact, most blind children do not survive past the age of five.
Outside developed countries, cataracts remain the leading cause of avoidable visual impairment, affecting 50% in sub-Saharan Africa. A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which impedes the passage of light. Although most cases of cataract are related to the ageing process, occasionally children can be born with the condition, or cataracts can develop after eye injuries, inflammation, or as a result of ocular diseases. Cataract surgery is one of the most cost-effective treatments that can be offered in developing countries.
Statistics (source: WHO)
- 39 million people are blind worldwide. Most of the world’s blind –about 90% – live in poor nations where eye care is inaccessible.
- About 80% of all visual impairment could be avoidable globally.Correction of refractive errors could give normal vision to more than 12 million children (ages 5 to 15).