Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr today launched the results of a landmark study into the cost and benefits of ending avoidable blindness throughout the world.

The study Investing in Vision was undertaken by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and commissioned by The Fred Hollows Foundation and other key eye care NGOs.

Currently there are around 32.4 million people who are blind and another 191 million who are visually impaired. Key findings include:
  • Avoidable blindness occurs all over the world, but by far the greatest burden is carried by developing countries.
  • In developing countries, an additional investment of only US$2.20 per capita per year for 10 years is required to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairment.
  • The economic benefits of eliminating avoidable blindness and visual impairment in developing countries outweigh the costs by a factor of four to one.
  • That means that for every dollar invested in preventing someone from going blind, we generate more than four dollars in economic benefits.
  • This large net benefit places eliminating avoidable blindness among the likes of primary school education and infrastructure projects in terms of its broader economic value.

The report represents an important partnership between PwC and The Fred Hollows Foundation, bringing together the expertise of two leading international bodies – from the private and not-for-profit sectors – to provide a rigorous analysis of the cost and benefits of a major public health initiative: eliminating blindness.

> Download the Investing in Vision Reports