DONATE

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
Many people sit outside waiting for an eye examination.
Sightsavers from the field

Nine steps to holding pop-up eye screening camps on the doorsteps of marginalised communities

In February 2020, Sightsavers' Kirsty Bridger visited Bangladesh to learn how we organise our eye screening camps.

October 2020
Nine-year-old Sumaiya smiling after her cataract operation at a hospital in Bangladesh.
sightsavers_news

WHO passes resolution urging countries to prioritise eye health

The World Health Organization passed a Resolution on The World Report on Vision in an effort to reach the 1 billion people worldwide who do not have access to vital eye care services.

August 2020
Clive Jones stands next to a sign.
Sightsavers blog

Improving eye health and saving lives in India

Sightsavers’ chair, Sir Clive Jones, visited India to see how a Sightsavers programme is saving lives on the roads by screening truck drivers for vision problems.

Sightsavers, February 2020