The Right to Sight: Why are half of all blind people still living in the dark?


There are approximately 39 million blind people in the world. But did you know that more than half of them needn’t be blind? Their blindness is curable if they could only get the sight-saving surgery they need. Here at Focus, we want to raise awareness of world blindness.

Using International Council of Ophthalmology data we have created this piece revealing the alarming number of patients there are to eye doctors around the globe. Amongst other health issues, from disease to famine, one very overlooked problem is that there is a lack of ophthalmologists. This combined with an aging population, lack of resource and funding has led to the staggering amount of people who suffer from vision loss.

Did you know in the UK there are 20,224 people for every eye doctor? That may initially seem shocking, but that is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the rest of the world. The most startling figure we discovered belongs to Malawi, Africa, where there are 4.3 million patients for one doctor – this alone proves how much of an issue the lack of ophthalmologists globally is. 

As you can see above the piece highlights the problem that accounts for some of the world’s lack of vision. Blindness is 500% more prevalent in developing countries but with an average wage of $1 a day in some countries, people can’t afford the small fee for the 15-minute surgery that would restore their sight and change their life.

The struggle for ophthalmologists around the world is a daily one, how can one doctor cater to the needs of 4.3 million people? The world needs to grasp just how large the issue of blindness is, but how easy is it going to be to solve?

There are a number of charities striving to help those in need and also raise awareness of world blindness, especially in developing countries where the help may not be as easy to access:

20 / 20 / 20

The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ

The Himalayan Cataract Project

Sight Savers

Vision Aid Overseas


By: David

If you are interested in vision correction at Focus Clinic please call us on 0207 307 8250 and book a free consultation.

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 David Allamby