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Solutions for Blindness Can Alleviate Global Poverty

blindness and global poverty

There is a strong correlation between blindness and global poverty, and people living with both have faced even more challenges than usual amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why one Harvard graduate chose to research eye diseases, their causes and how they interact with global poverty. He focused on solutions for blindness that can also alleviate poverty, such as cataract surgery and spreading awareness of treatment options. In the same vein, the United Nations (U.N.) recently created an initiative that will help people living with blindness and other vision-related challenges.

Harvard Graduate Conducts Research on Blindness and Poverty

After developing an interest in studying ophthalmology, Lawson Ung, a recent Harvard graduate, became inspired to do research on eye disease. While working in a lab, Ung decided to research eye disease”;s impacts on different parts of the world. He learned that 80% of people living with blindness live in low- or middle-income countries, and most have little access to eye doctors. Blindness also increases the likelihood of poverty since eye-related issues can hurt people”;s abilities to complete daily tasks.

Possible Solutions for Blindness

One solution for blindness that would benefit about half of the people in low-income countries is cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is inexpensive and boosts productivity significantly. Another solution for blindness is spreading awareness that vision loss is not inevitable and informing people about treatment options. This involves reaching out to patients who lack access to eye care services and providing them with the resources they need. However, cultural issues such as acceptance must be a priority in order to make improvements. One study found that only about 22% of blind people living in poverty were willing to receive free cataract surgery.

The UN Creates “;Vision for Everyone”;

The U.N. recently created “;Vision for Everyone,“; an initiative that plans to expand access to eye care services in low-income countries. The reason behind this initiative is the high likelihood of more people suffering from vision-related issues in upcoming years. The initiative”;s priorities include encouraging governments to improve eye care availability and highlighting the socioeconomic impact of vision loss. The initiative believes that eye care is an important component of poverty alleviation.

In his research, Lawson Ung found that many people living with eye disease also face poverty and other environmental barriers. However, cataract surgery and informing people about treatment options are possible solutions for blindness. The U.N.”;s “;Vision for Everyone”; will work to alleviate global poverty by reaching out to millions of people who suffer from blindness and other vision-related issues.

– Chloe Moody
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The post Solutions for Blindness Can Alleviate Global Poverty appeared first on The Borgen Project.

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