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Uncorrected refractive error: the major and most easily avoidable cause of vision loss

Keywords: Refractive Errors , Blindness , Statistics , Spectacles , Optometry , Presbyopia , Developing Countries

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In the late 1990s, two papers from very different parts of the world, Australia and India, highlighted the fact that uncorrected refractive error was a significant cause of blindness and the major cause of impaired vision.1,2 Since then, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), both separately and in their joint initiative, VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, have worked very hard to put uncorrected refractive error on the blindness prevention agenda and to develop strategies for the elimination of this most simple avoidable cause of vision loss. They have been joined in these efforts by international non-governmental development organisations with expertise or programmes in this field, such as the International Centre for Eyecare Education (ICEE), Sightsavers International (SSI), Christian Blind Mission (CBM), Helen Keller International (HKI), and the World Council of Optometry (WCO).


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