The bad news: At least 2 billion people around the world are blind or visually impaired.

Blindness and visual impairment are often caused by (or exacerbated by) a combination of malnutrition, poor water quality, lack of sanitation, and inadequate healthcare and health education. These forces conspire to spread diseases which damage vision and impede access to treatment.

Blindness can be deadly. A high proportion of blind children die within a few years of losing sight, either from the underlying disease or due to the inability of their impoverished families to care for them.

The good news: Over 1 billion of those cases of blindness are either treatable or preventable.

Like you see in Emily’s story, inexpensive surgery or medication is often the solution. A 10-minute cataract surgery in the developing world costs as little as $50 and can fundamentally change — and even save — lives.


[1] Indian Journal of Ophthalmology,  The global cost of eliminating avoidable blindness

[2] World Health Organization, WHO launches first World report on vision

[3] World Health Organization bulletin, Childhood blindness in the context of VISION 2020–the right to sight