Orbis and the Global Goals

In September 2015, 193 countries adopted a set of ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all.

Each of the 17 goals has specific targets to be achieved by 2030 – 169 targets in total. They apply to all countries and aim to ensure that no one is left behind in the process of sustainable development. 

To achieve the Global Goals, all countries, alongside charities, businesses, and communities, have a role to play. By working with governments, partners and supporters in the fight against avoidable blindness, Orbis is contributing to the sustainable development agenda to transform our world. 

How does access to quality eye health help to achieve the global goals?

The Global Goals are interconnected.  Improvements in one area – like health – both determines, and is determined by, progress in other areas of development.

By focusing on fighting avoidable blindness and restoring sight, our work has a ripple effect across the Global Goals – and peoples’ lives.

GOAL 1 - END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE

Blindness and visual impairment is both a cause and a consequence of poverty. We know that enabling access to quality eye care is an effective and cost-efficient path to reversing the cycle of poverty. Treating preventable eye conditions can enable whole families to regain their independence.

GOAL 3 - ENSURE HEALTHY LIVES AND WELL-BEING FOR ALL 

Orbis contributes to the well-being of adults and children by providing life changing eye care, enabling people of all ages to reach their highest potential. The Global Goals include the target of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) - the principle that everyone can access the full range of essential health services they need, when and where they need, without financial hardship. This must include eye health. Orbis takes a health systems approach, integrating eye health from tertiary hospitals to community clinics, and providing quality training and support eye health workers of all cadres.

Orbis contributes to global efforts to reduce avoidable blindness caused by neglected tropical diseases, such as trachoma, and non-communicable diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, through prevention, the provision of coordinated treatment services and promoting greater awareness.

GOAL 4 - ENSURE INCLUSIVE AND EQUITABLE QUALITY EDUCATION

A lack of education can result in avoidable blindness if someone is not able to access information about eye conditions and treatment. If undiagnosed and untreated, visual impairment can lead to a child dropping out of school; children, usually girls, may also be forced to leave school and take care of a blind family member. 

By providing access to quality eye care in the communities where we work, we help ensure that visual impairment doesn’t impede access to education.

GOAL 5 - ACHIEVE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER ALL WOMEN AND GIRLS 

There is a gender gap in eye health – 55% of the world’s visually impaired people are women and girls. Gender inequality means that women and girls face barriers to accessing services. They may have less financial control to pay for services, or they may be unable to travel to access treatment. Orbis works to reduce this disparity by bringing health care services directly to the community.

Women with visual impairment face double discrimination because of their gender and their disability. They can be at higher risk of gender-based violence, sexual abuse and neglect, for example.

Fighting preventable blindness contributes to greater gender equality – enabling women and girls to access education, employment, and community life.

GOAL 8 - PROMOTE SUSTAINED INCLUSIVE AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH

We know that the cost of blindness to economies is huge in terms of education, productivity, and income. However, for every £1 invested in eye health, there is, on average, a return on investment of £4 in economic gains and health savings.

There are further goals which impact on eye health. For example, preventable blindness and visual impairment can be related to a lack of sanitation and poor or inadequate water supply (Goal 6), and inequality (Goal 10). 

Whilst Orbis focuses on fighting preventable and treatable visual impairment, the Global Goals state that no one should be ‘left behind’. The goals champion disability inclusion in the areas of education, employment, economic growth, and more. 

They set out a vision of a world where people who are visually impaired and blind do not experience stigma, discrimination and marginalisation. 

Help us achieve the global goals

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