Blindness

More than 285 million people worldwide have some form of visual impairment.  39 million of them are blind and approximately 90% of those affected by blindness and visual impairment live in the poorest countries in the world.  Within the world’s low-and-middle income countries, blind children have a lifetime of increased morbidity ahead of them, with up to 60% of blind children dying within one year of becoming blind.

Whilst the prevalence of the primary causes of blindness, such as cataracts, are falling, the absolute number of blind people is increasing due to demographics in poorer countries where populations are growing and ageing.  Yet a huge proportion of this blindness is either avoidable or curable.  Yet millions remain blind because of pervasive treatment gaps.

Current tools for the prevention, treatment and cure of corneal blindness cannot be adequately deployed within the poorest countries in the world where blindness is at its most pervasive.  These solutions are not simply not accessible or affordable and cannot be scaled to reach all of those who are in need.  To solve blindness due to poverty, the world needs to develop sustainable long-term solutions that are accessible, affordable and scalable.

Want to tackle poverty? Start with blindness

One of the underreported tragedies of our time is that nearly 90% of the world's blind live in low-income countries where poverty and blindness perpetuate in a descending cycle

To end extreme poverty, we must also end blindness

One of the underreported tragedies of our time is that nearly 90% of the world’s blind live in low-income countries where poverty and blindness perpetuate in a descending cycle. The main cause of this often needless and frequently avoidable blindness is cataracts, which affect 95 million people worldwide. In low- and middle-income countries cataracts account for 50% of all blindness, compared to just 5% of blindness in the West.

Curing impoverished communities of blindness: a story from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

Growing up, Soorya Mani Rai did not have access to education — there wasn’t a local school in her area, and her parents could not afford to send her away to study. But as it is in the hills of Nepal, there is plenty to do — even for a growing child.

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Latest Blindness Stories by Tej Kohli

Want to tackle poverty? Start with blindness

One of the underreported tragedies of our time is that nearly 90% of the world's blind live in low-income countries where poverty and blindness perpetuate in a descending cycle

To end extreme poverty, we must also end blindness

One of the underreported tragedies of our time is that nearly 90% of the world’s blind live in low-income countries where poverty and blindness perpetuate in a descending cycle. The main cause…

Curing impoverished communities of blindness: a story from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

Growing up, Soorya Mani Rai did not have access to education — there wasn’t a local school in her area, and her parents could not afford to send her away to study. But as it is in the hills of…

Curing blindness caused by caste-based discrimination: a story from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

63 year old Chandrawati Harijan lives in Mahilwar, Lumbini — 15 minutes west of Maya Devi Temple, the exact place where Lord Buddha was born more than 2500 years ago.

Curing blindness at the Buddha Maya Temple: a story from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

When Murathi Parsi of the Kapilavastu District of Nepal went blind, surgery was out of reach. Despite living only one hour away from an eye hospital, the family simply did not have the USD $70…

Curing blindness caused by poverty: a story from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

For Shri Mani Rai, her earliest memory is of flowers, beautiful and colourful flowers at her childhood home in Solukhumbu in the foothills of Mount Everest. At the age of sixteen, she was…

Changing a life by curing blindness: a story from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

In medical terms, Tila Maya Rai is blind. Suffering from cataracts in both of her eyes, her vision is extremely blurred. It was only a matter of time that her cataracts would mature, making…

15 minutes to cure blindness: a story from the Tej Kohli & Ruit Foundation

In Solukhumbu, ahead of a high-volume cataract outreach surgery camp by the Tej Kohli and Ruit Foundation, eye health personnel are making sure that no cataract patient will miss out on the…

London philanthropist aims to cure poverty-related blindness worldwide

Cataracts are usually thought to affect older people, but children can also develop them — take, for example, the story of 14-year-old Bipana Rai from Solukhumbu in Nepal, who was born…