DONATE
sightsavers_news

Global blindness set to triple by 2050

August 2017
A woman having her eyes tested

“We are seeing an increase in conditions such as cataracts, which develops mainly due to ageing”

Sightsavers has pledged to continue its work to tackle avoidable blindness after researchers revealed the number of blind people across the world is set to triple in the next four decades.

A report published in Lancet Global Health predicted that cases will rise from 36 million to 115 million by 2050 without better funding and increased access to eye care services.

The number of people going blind from infectious diseases such as trachoma has fallen in recent years, according to the study. However, there has been an increase in causes of blindness related to age and chronic disease because more people are living longer.

Sightsavers chief global technical lead Imran Khan said: “Even though the efforts from Sightsavers and our international partners have decreased the burden of blindness due to infectious causes, we are seeing an increase in conditions such as cataracts, which is the leading cause of blindness and develops mainly due to ageing. Similarly, we are seeing increases in uncorrected refractive error, the leading cause of visual impairment, which can be corrected with a pair of eye glasses.”

The world’s poorest countries, such as Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, are particularly affected by these conditions. The report calls for better investment in treatments, such as cataract surgery, and ensuring people have access to appropriate vision-correcting glasses.

Sightsavers continues to invest resources in these countries, and works with partners to improve health systems and train more surgeons and nurses to deliver sustainable eye health care.

Want to read more about our work?

Sightsavers and eye health
Hula wears her new glasses and reads from a sheet of paper.
Sightsavers from the field

August highlights: updates from around the world

The latest from Kenya, where Sightsavers staff have been carrying out eye screenings in a refugee camp in Turkana. Plus news from India and Nigeria.

August 2018
From the cover of Sightsavers annual report 2011: a woman smiling as she covers one of her eyes.
sightsavers_news

New data for World Sight Day shows global blindness is lower than expected

The global prevalence of blindness stands at 36 million people, according to research published in medical journal The Lancet.

October 2017
A woman has her eyes examined at the screening camp in Bhopal, set up for survivors of the gas disaster.
Sightsavers from the field

Eye screening for survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy

Sightsavers organised screening camps for those affected by the Bhopal disaster in 1984, when a gas leak killed 3,800 people.

July 2017