“Africa carries a disproportionate responsibility in terms of blindness and visual impairment. With approximately 10 per cent of the world’s population, Africa has 19 per cent of the world’s blindness. It is no surprise that this reality also mirrors the situation in terms of the burden of world poverty.

There is an increasing recognition of the need to highlight the link between poverty, development and health care. Blindness, disabling visual impairment and the overall lack of eye-care services are too often the result of social, economic and developmental challenges of the developing world.” ¹

Global Facts on Blindness:

  • About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision
  • 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented, treated or cured
  • About 90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries
  • Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment, while cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness
  • 65% of visually impaired people are over 50 years of age, although this age group comprises only 20% of the world population
  • Top causes of visual impairment: refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma
  • Top causes of blindness: cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration ²
  1. Poverty and blindness in Africa.Naidoo K. SourceInternational Center for Eye Care Education (ICEE), African Vision Research Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. k.naidoo@icee.org
  2. According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO)

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