Vision Care and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
When we think about public health issues, vision care typically doesn’t make it onto the list of most-discussed topics. More likely, you’ll hear people talk about drug and alcohol abuse, food insecurity, obesity and cardiovascular disease, and (more recently) COVID-19. Although vision care receives less media attention and is perceived by many people as being less emergent than some of the aforementioned topics, it’s nonetheless a serious issue that has profound implications on the lives of people around the world. Seeing clearly better enables us to interact with the world around us, do the work that fulfills us, and connect with one another.
Vision Care as a Global Health Issue
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than a billion people live with vision impairments because they do not have access to vision care. The report also noted that the people who are most impacted by lack of vision care are the same people who are generally known to struggle with other forms of disparity, such as minorities, people of low socioeconomic status and those from low- and middle-income regions.
Given that vision impairment can have severe (or even debilitating) consequences for the lives of individuals, global health experts have deemed it an essential component of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015.
Consider the following ways in which more widespread, equitable vision care would affect the lives of people around the world:
- Better overall health and well-being (SDG #3)
- Better access to and achievement in education (SDG #4)
- Increase productivity in the workplace, which would in turn improve individuals’ financial situations and benefit the wider economy (SDG #8)
- Given that women and economically disadvantaged people are disproportionately affected by a lack or denial of access to vision care, expanded access would improve gender equality and reduce inequity (SDGs #5 &10)
Help Us Make a Difference
OneSight is on a mission to help the world see better by bringing affordable vision care to those who need it most. Since 1988, we’ve reached 52+ million people worldwide, including lives served directly as well as people who now have ongoing access to vision care through permanent vision centers. Our strategy is focused on both meeting immediate needs and establishing long-term solutions, and involves a combination of charitable clinics and sustainable vision centers. Contact us for more information about how you can make a difference in ending the vision care crisis, or consider donating to support our work!