Poverty and Eye Health Review Published
August 6, 2014
Orbis is pleased to share that in partnership with the Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI) and African Vision Research Institute (AVRI) we have published the Poverty and Eye Health literature review in the latest issue of Health (Vol.6 No.14 2014) a publication of Scientific Research Publishing, one of the largest open access journal publishers.
In 2012, Orbis joined forces with BHVI and AVRI to analyze the issue of eye health and poverty in South Africa. The launch of the ambitious Poverty and Eye Health Study was announced by Lene Øverland, Director of Program Orbis Europe, Middle East and Africa and Dr. Kovin Naidoo, Global Programs Director at the Brien Holden Vision Institute and CEO at AVRI during a presentation at the International Agency of the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) Ninth General Assembly in September 2012.
“The Poverty and Eye Health Study will lay the foundation for service delivery mechanisms providing access for the poor to life transforming eye health services in South Africa,” said Øverland.
“It is critical that we contextualize eye health and the work of civil society in the context of national priorities and the broader development agenda,” said Naidoo. “Efforts such as linking poverty and eye health will be beneficial to the expansion of eye health services and contribute to empowering people to participate fully in society.”
The consortium’s primary aim is to improve the understanding of the impact of visual loss on poverty. More importantly the consortium aims to develop relationships with key organizations working in poverty reduction and mainstream eye health, and in particular cataract and refractive errors as the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment, into their programs.
It has long been thought that poverty and poor eye health are linked in a vicious cycle: in developing communities, for instance, it is perceived that the blind are more likely to become poor, and the poor are more likely to become blind and thus become further entrapped in poverty. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 80% of all visual impairment can be avoided or cured. Studies also indicate that 90% of blind people live in developing countries, suggesting a link between poor eye health and poverty.
“We hope that the new knowledge generated through the Poverty and Eye Health Study will aid advocacy efforts with governments and other civil society sectors and promote a greater focus on the anti-poverty programs,” said Øverland and Naidoo.
Data collection is complete and qualitative and quantitative data is currently being analyzed. The project is on track to be completed by November 2014.
The review article of the Poverty and Eye Health Study is accessible at http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=48200#.U9YxraiE_ew
Photos by Geoff Oliver Bugbee/Orbis