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$14B Needed to Eliminate Uncorrected Poor Vision Worldwide, Essilor Finds

It’s ‘the world’s most widespread disability.’

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Essilor International, subsidiary of EssilorLuxottica, has published a report defining the global scale of uncorrected poor vision and outlining solutions to eliminate it within a generation.

According to the report, a total investment of $14 billion over the next 30 years is required to eliminate uncorrected poor vision by 2050.

Uncorrected poor vision is the world’s most widespread disability, affecting 2.7 billion people, 90 percent of whom “live at the economic base of the pyramid,” Essilor stated in a press release. It costs the global economy $272 billion in lost productivity each year.

By 2050, uncorrected poor vision is predicted to reach epidemic proportions, with over 50 percent of the world’s population expected to suffer from myopia, many with serious vision-threatening side effects and drastic long-term implications, according to Essilor.

Essilor report is called “Eliminating poor vision in a Generation: What will it take to eliminate uncorrected refractive errors by 2050?” and uses analytical support provided by McKinsey. Its findings suggest that uncorrected poor vision can be eliminated by 2050 through an investment of $14 billion over the next 30 years, dedicated to creating sustainable access points to eyecare, innovating for affordable solutions, funding subsidized and free services and raising awareness.

Hubert Sagnières, executive vice chairman of EssilorLuxottica and chairman of Essilor International, said:

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“As the world leader in ophthalmic optics, and a firm believer in business as a force for good, our ambition is to eliminate poor vision within one generation. While there have been many successful initiatives by both public and private actors in recent years, there is clearly a need to do more to bring good vision to everyone. At the same time, there is simply no blueprint to achieve our ambition. This report will provide the necessary guidance while engaging the different stakeholders towards one goal. It illustrates our endeavor to take our efforts further by investigating this vision crisis and uncovering how to solve it. Governments, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral organizations, donors, eye care professionals and the private sector all have a role to play as we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to end a public health crisis.”

Using the key findings of the report as a starting point, Essilor hosted a panel discussion, in partnership with the social enterprise and media platform Devex, on the sidelines of 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. The discussions examined how public and private stakeholders can jointly overcome the obstacles to meeting the 2050 target of universal vision.

The event, held on Sept. 24, brought together representatives from non-governmental organizations, health communities, multilateral agencies and international bodies.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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