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$14B investment to eliminate poor vision by 2050

A total investment of $14 billion over the next 30 years can eliminate uncorrected poor vision by 2050, according to a new report “Eliminating Poor Vision in a Generation: What will it take to eliminate uncorrected refractive errors by 2050?” published by Essilor International.

Launched on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 24th, the report defines the scale of uncorrected poor vision globally and outlines solutions to eliminate the world’s largest unaddressed disability within one generation. This is in line with EssilorLuxottica’s mission to help people see more, be more and live life to its fullest.

Speaking on the report, Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Head of Mission at EssilorLuxottica said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to end a public health crisis. With the launch of this new report, we are elevating our efforts by providing a roadmap outlining key priorities, actions and investment required to eliminate poor vision in a generation. The time is now, but we cannot do it alone. The eye health sector must seek the support and engagement of many partners whose resources can accelerate progress”. 

The world’s largest unaddressed disability

Uncorrected poor vision is the world’s most widespread disability: it affects one in three people across the globe, 90 percent of whom live at the economic base of the pyramid, and 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.

Efforts to bring good vision to everyone, everywhere are being led by both the public and private sector and supported by multilateral organizations and donors. And while great strides have been made in the areas of accessibility, affordability, addressing funding gaps and using innovation to produce cost-effective products and services, there remains a need to do more.

Poor vision can be eliminated by 2050

To gather more evidence-based insight into the scale of this vision care crisis, identify possible solutions and mobilize both public and private stakeholders, we initiated the report using analytical support provided by McKinsey. Findings indicate 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 for eye health services, innovating for affordable solutions, funding subsidized and free services as well as raising awareness.

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Using the key findings of the report as a starting point, we hosted a panel discussion, in partnership with the social enterprise and media platform Devex, (repeated in para 1)at the United Nations General Assembly. The discussion examined how we can overcome obstacles to meeting the 2050 target of universal vision, the need for specific funding, partnerships and raising awareness, as well as how we can jointly tackle the issue through economies of scale and cross-sector collaboration. 

The panel included Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, Head of Mission at EssilorLuxottica; Nick Martin, Deputy CEO, The Fred Hollows Foundation; Allyala Nandakumar, Chief Economist at the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, USA and Former Chief Economist for Global Health, USAID; Dr. Serge Resnikoff, International Expert on Eye Health and Former Senior Policy Advisor and Coordinator, World Health Organization as well as Elizabeth Smith, Co-founder and Chief Executive, EYElliance.

Download the report here and watch a recording of the panel discussion here