Worldwide, over a billion people suffer from some degree of impaired vision and blindness, 80% of which is considered to be avoidable. According to global estimates from 2018, 39 million people are blind and 285 million are at risk of severe vision loss, with Sub-Saharan Africa having the highest levels of blindness due to a high prevalence of uncorrected refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia and presbyopia). Uncorrected refractive errors are one of the most common ocular problems and a major cause of visual impairment and visual loss worldwide. Addressing issues of vision impairment is essential for achieving overall health and wellbeing, as having diminished eyesight can negatively impact individuals in all aspects of their lives.
While many types of vision impairment are either preventable or manageable through simple refractive error corrections and, for some cases surgeries, many health systems around the globe suffer from deficiencies on both the supply side and demand side that contribute the global burden of vision impairment3. On the supply side, there is a shortage of both skilled personnel and an inadequate distribution of personnel within each country. Other important supply-side constraints for vision care include infrastructure and technology development…more