Two and a half billion people in the world today need, but lack, access to a pair of glasses, and 80% of this group live in just 20 developing countries. Being able to access primary eyecare services, including basic eye tests to determine how well people can see and whether glasses can help them see more clearly, is a necessary first step in acquiring glasses.
This study analyses primary eyecare provision in developing countries from the perspective of global development rather than health alone. Poor sight is not only a health issue, but one that, left untreated, can exclude people from numerous life-changing opportunities. Starting from an early age, visual impairment can waste human potential, affect people’s education and health outcomes, and shorten their most productive working years.
Without additional investment in primary eyecare the cycle of poor sight and low development outcomes could continue. In this study, the authors set out why additional investment should be made in primary eyecare in developing countries.