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[Published: Tuesday June 02 2009]

Increase global productivity by giving eyeglasses to all in need

Geneva. 2 June – (ANA) - Huge economic gains could be made if eyeglasses were provided to approximately 150 million people in need, according to research published today in the international public health journal, the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

Researchers estimate that the global productivity loss due to uncorrected visual impairment in people aged 16 to 50 years is $121.4 billion.

“If each affected person was provided with appropriate eyeglasses, we estimate that there may be a net economic gain, even if up to $1000 was spent per person to do this,” says Dr Tasanee Smith, from the Bloomberg School of Public Health (USA), who worked with researchers from the International Centre for Eyecare Education (Australia) and Africa Vision Research Institute (South Africa).

“The true cost of providing eyeglasses to meet this global burden is unknown,” she says. “Eyeglasses are a low-cost intervention, however, many less economically developed countries lack basic infrastructure for distribution and training and have insufficient equipment and personnel to provide eyeglasses to those in need.” (ANA)


AB/ANA/ 2 June 2009 ---

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