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Sep 14th 2011

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The economic impact of restoring vision

Categories: Bangladesh, Cataract, Economy, Kenya, The Philippines, Vision 2020

For years, CBM has needed hard evidence on the economic impact of restoring vision, and now we have it.

A recently completed study in Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines showed that following a sight-restoring cataract operation, the average economic gain per family per year is £250. Not much by UK standards, but an awful lot of money for a Bangladeshi family.

Cataract screening campaign in Kenya

A Kenyan woman has her eyes examined for cataract. Photo: CBM.

It costs CBM about £20 to do one cataract surgery, so the return on investment is 1,500%!

In 2010, CBM and its local partners restored eyesight to 644,000 cataract blind people who would otherwise have remained blind, due to poverty. So a bit of maths shows that the global economic impact of CBM’s cataract surgical work comes in at about £160 million.  Not bad at all!

Now, we have to get the message across to governments that restoring vision benefits their economies!

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