Eye Health Equals

One billion people have a visual impairment that could have been prevented or could still be treated. If the world’s eye care needs were met, the impact would be astounding.

A school student wearing a bright yellow shirt smiles as he holds his right hand over his eye. There's an illustrated ring of small dots surrounding his face.

© Sightsavers/John Healey

A manifesto for change

Eye health is about more than sight – it’s about a vision of the future.

To achieve the UN’s global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), eye health is essential.

Why? Because good eye health has a ripple effect, improving education, economic and health outcomes.

But unless it is recognised as a vital part of the bigger health and development picture, our efforts to achieve the SDGs and universal health coverage will fail.

Ophthalmic nurse Jeremiah Gwafa screens community members' eyes for trachoma.

The change we seek is ambitious, but achievable. It requires governments, donors, decision-makers, NGOs and other partners to work together to:

Recognise the importance of eye health in achieving development goals and universal health coverage

Integrate eye health into global and national health, education and employment policies and programmes

Invest in inclusive eye health services, with particular focus on women and girls

Eye health equals opportunity, allowing children to learn and adults to earn. It equals improved wellbeing: supporting families, communities and nations to thrive. And it equals progress towards reducing poverty and inequality.

The promise of the Sustainable Development Goals is a world where no one – regardless of gender, disability, age, income or status – is left behind. Eye health equals a crucial chance to make that promise a reality.

Join our campaign and reveal what eye health equals to you by sharing on social media. View our social media toolkit

A lilac illustrated icon of a globe..

2.2 billion people

have a visual impairment worldwide, but almost half of this is preventable or treatable.

A lilac illustrated icon of a wallet.

£343.7 billion a year

is thought to be lost in productivity because of visual impairment.

A lilac illustrated icon of a family.

Half the population

worldwide are unable to access the eye care they need.

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Learn why the Sustainable Development Goals are key

What are the SDGs?

How we’re making a difference

Wilson, Ganizani and Alice sit on the ground outside their homes in Malawi.

When small ripples make big waves

In a village in southern Malawi live Wilson, Ganizani and Alice. Their story shows how the impact of one eye operation can spread throughout an entire community, changing lives as it goes.

Read their story

Read more about our work to protect sight

Sightsavers and eye health