The Tragedy of Preventable Blindness

According to the World Health Organization, some 314 million people are visually impaired worldwide, 45 million of them totally blind. The tragedy is that three-quarters of all blindness can be prevented or treated. Avoidable blindness poses an enormous challenge to the global health care system, particularly in low- and middle- income countries. There are 9 million people in Africa alone with preventable blindness, 50-75 percent due to cataracts and 5 percent from glaucoma, says Keerti Bhusan Pradhan, who represents the NGO Right to Sight, and who is to present research he did in Africa at the Irish Forum for Global Health biennial conference Nov. 29 and 30.

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