Week of Sight
9 - 15 October 2017
Week of Sight is a global event meant to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment.
Currently, 36 million people around the globe are blind.
Read here how ZEISS is supporting the event and commits to good vision for everyone.
million people around the globe are blind.1
According to the WHO, about 80 percent of blindness in the world is avoidable.2
Accroding to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), global output could be increased by roughly 271 billion US dollars if all patients with severe visual impairments received the appropriate eyewear. 3
Poor vision is one of the key reasons why children stop attending school at an early age, and it shortens the working life of the people affected by around 10 years.3
2.2 billion people have no access to eye care
One eye exam or one visit to an ophthalmologist is recommended every year. This recommendation applies to both adults and children – in Asia, for example, where shortsightedness is very common among kids.
If everyone in the world who currently has no access to an optometrist or ophthalmologist is to receive a vision test or eye exam within one year, a lot of additional appointments would be necessary for the new patients: 6 million every day, 250,000 every hour or 70 every second.
Good and healthy vision for everyone
Did you know that 625 million people are threatened by blindness?
The good news to start with: the figures have dropped since 2014. Fewer people in the world now suffer from avoidable blindness. While the World Health Organization estimated that there were 39 million blind people worldwide in 2014, the figure of 36 million for 2015 is slightly lower. The global Vision 2020 program for combating avoidable blindness is now bearing fruit.
However, the global crisis in relation to the number of uncorrected visual defects that could be removed by eyeglasses or contact lenses is worsening. 2.2 billion people do not currently have access to eye care, 625 million people have to live with defective vision or the threat of blindness because there are simply no eye doctors or optometrists in their country who could examine their eyes and fit the appropriate eyewear. However, defective vision will increase around the globe in the future – because, for example, the world population will grow faster than the number of optometrists, making it increasingly difficult to guarantee widespread eye care. But also because our modern lifestyle poses new challenges to good and healthy vision. Experts estimate that 1 billion people will be affected by high myopia, or severe shortsightedness, in 20504.
As a responsible company and a leading supplier of medical solutions for eye and vision care, ZEISS together with the Christoffel Mission for the Blind (CBM) and other partners is committed to ensuring that more people in all regions of the world gain access to this care.
Want to learn more about the work of the CBM and do your bit to help? Click here.
1 ophthalmologist for 219.000 inhabitants (India).5
1 eye care professional for 1.680 inhabitants (Germany)5
ZEISS activities around the world
How we work with partners in preventing blindness and poor vision worldwide
By 2050 more than 50 per cent of the world’s population = 5.000.000.000 people will be myopic, 1.000.000 will suffer from High Myopia.6
625.000.000 people worldwide would need vision correction but can’t get it.7
Initiatives supported by ZEISS
Training is the key to good medical care
Experience shows that, in the economically weaker regions of the world, training can have a direct positive influence on the quality of life. As a partner of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO), ZEISS Medical Technology supports particularly talented, up-and-coming eye doctors from economically weaker regions in the ICO Fellowship Program.
Marcial Nuñez can see again
Cataract is the world's most common cause of blindness. That was what happened to Marcial Nuñez from Paraguay. However, the patient's sight can be saved by a simple operation: it normally takes just 20 minutes to remove the cloudy lens of the eye and insert an artificial intraocular lens. But the appropriate care for cataract patients can often not be guaranteed in remote regions. Patients can now benefit from the diagnosis, therapy and training center that ZEISS, the CBM, the Fundación Visión and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) have jointly set up in Paraguay's capital city.
Aloka Vision Programme
ZEISS has chosen to pilot a new social business approach in rural India to find sustainable answers to the vision challenge. In India about 300 million people would need visual correction but have no access to any vision or eye care.And because the root cause for uncorrected vision impairment is lack of eye care professionals and infrastructure for vision test and eye exam, the “Aloka Vision Programme” is about establishing basic infrastructure and thus reach people in unserved, rural areas.
The clear vision challenge
Billions of people in the world have no access to an eye doctor, optometrist or optician and so have no chance for a vision test or to get glasses for visual correction if needed. It is estimated that 625m people would need a pair of spectacles but have to live without it. Visual impairment negatively impacts work, education and quality of life.
253 million people in the world are visually disabled. In other words, they suffer from an eye disease or have a severe visual impairment.8
Around 90 percent of these people live in developing countries with low to medium wage levels.1
The figures apply to 2015.
1 Bourne, R. A. et al.: Magnitude, temporal trends, and projections of the global prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis. In: The Lancet, Global Health, Volume 5, No. 9, e888–e897, September 2017.
2 Blindness: Vision 2020 - The Global Initiative for the Elimination of Avoidable Blindness. Fact Sheet Number 213.
3 Global Data on Visual Impairment: Global Action Plan Vision 2020, World Health Organization, 2012
4 Ophthalmology. 2016 May;123(5):1036-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Feb 11. - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26875007
5 2010 Delhi Declaration, ZVA 2016
6 Brien Holden Vision Institute, 2016
7 Brien Holden Vision Institute, 2016
8 Vision Atlas, 2017: https://atlas.iapb.org/news/latest-global-blindness-vi-prevalence-figures-published-lancet/