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2.2 billion people suffer from vision problems, according to WHO

More than two billion people suffer from vision problems worldwide, according to a new WHO report. Half of them could have been avoided or are still untreated.

The first vision report published by the World Health Organization is distressing. We learn that more than 2.2 billion people – almost 1 in 4 people – suffer from visual impairment or blindness. On this sample, at least half of the conditions (myopia, presbyopia, glaucoma or cataract) could have been avoided if they had been taken care of.

Those most affected are people living in rural areas in low-income countries. And more specifically the elderly, women, people with disabilities or indigenous populations. Here, unmet need is said to be four times higher than in high-income areas.

An "unacceptable" situation

For the authors of the report, the main reasons for deficiencies are the aging of the population , but also and above all the lack of access to health care services affordable.

“ Eye conditions and vision problems are very common and all too often go untreated , explains Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO. People in need of eye care should be able to receive quality interventions without facing financial hardship. The inclusion of eye care in national health plans and essential care packages is an important step for every country on the road to universal health coverage ” .

Researcher also finds “ unacceptable ” the fact that 65 million people are blind or partially sighted in the world, " while their vision could have been corrected overnight by cataract surgery " . It also recalls that 800 million people world still can't afford glasses.

The report also finds that a little more of 14 billion dollars would be enough to treat the one billion people with untreated visual impairment.

The authors also recommend two things. For myopia problems:spend more time outdoors to avoid activities requiring near vision. They also insist on the need to increase efforts in the fight against type 2 diabetes . Indeed, this disease can lead to serious vision problems (diabetic retinopathy) if it is not detected in time.

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