Despite impressive gains made by many countries in the last 2 decades in preventing and curing visual impairment, millions of people, especially in middle- to low-income countries are still affected by visual impairment. Following information is from the WHO:
- 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision.
- Almost 90% of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries.
- Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment; cataracts remain the leading cause of blindness in middle- and low-income countries.
- 80% of all visual impairment can be avoided or cured.
- An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired. Of these, 12 million children are visually impaired due to refractive errors, a condition that could be easily diagnosed and corrected. 1.4 million are irreversibly blind for the rest of their lives.