According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, just over 1 billion people throughout the world require eyeglasses. Unfortunately, a large percentage of those individuals can’t afford eyeglasses or don’t have access to eye care professionals. EYElliance is a nonprofit organization that is devoted to raising awareness about the growing problem of uncorrected vision loss.
The True Cost of Visual Impairment
Even minimal vision loss can drastically alter an individual’s life. Over the last few years, countless news outlets have highlighted stories that show just how devastating it can be when an individual’s eyesight deteriorates. Untreated vision problems not only affect quality of life, they impair one’s ability to get a job and make a living.
Global Health Problems and Vision Loss
Even though billions of dollars are spent combating major global health problems every year, very little of that money goes toward visual issues. The World Health Organization Claims that only $37 million was spent on providing low-income individuals with eyeglasses in 2015.
Vision loss continues to be one of the most pervasive public health problems, but very little is done to combat it. Studies continue to show us that correcting this problem could be relatively inexpensive, and it will help millions break free from the cycle of poverty.
EYElliance and the Future
This nonprofit organization harnesses the power of both private and public entities to bring eyeglasses to struggling communities. EYElliance has enlisted the help of dozens of politicians, actors, and entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place. Current fundraising has already resulted in several million dollars, and EYElliance hopes to use that money to shed more light on this problem and attract the attention of high-profile philanthropists. Unfortunately, raising money is only the first step in a much longer process, and the logistics of getting eyeglasses to those who need them the most is going to take years.
Training Eye Care Specialists Around the World
Uganda is a nation of 41 million people, and there are only 45 eye doctors in the entire country. In addition to providing eyeglasses to struggling communities, EYElliance also hopes to work with other organizations that will train eye care specialists. That type of training will be particularly invaluable to low-income individuals without other marketable skills.
Aravind Eye Care System, an organization funded by Govel Trust, is hosting vision screening training camps throughout India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. They are also offering secondary training to teachers so that they can screen their students before and after school.
Vision loss is a devastating problem that almost everyone will have to deal with at some point over the years. To find out more about how you can support EYElliance, or to schedule your annual eye exam, we invite you to contact our office today.