Around the world, there are millions of people who suffer from blindness or visual impairments. Some of these cases have suffered from their blindness or vision impairment since birth while others are a result of an injury or disease. One of the most common types of blindness around the world in 2020 is corneal blindness. But, did you know that this is more common in developing countries? Read on to find out more about why this is the case.
What Is Corneal Blindness?
If you are not familiar with corneal blindness, you should know that this kind of blindness affects the cornea in the eye. This is the outer layer that protects the eye and so if it gets damaged for any reason, the patient could have difficulty with their vision. Common symptoms of corneal blindness include tearing, blurred vision and headaches. According to research, around 90% of those who are affected by severe visual impairment or blindness live in the poorest countries in the world, including India for example.
Limited Access To Treatment
The main reason that corneal blindness is so common in developing countries is that there is limited access to treatment. Around 75% of corneal blindness disease is curable so why aren’t these people getting the treatment that they deserve? The treatment isn’t particularly affordable and isn’t available in all medical facilities in these developing countries. This leads to the people who need the treatment most having to live with this disease for much longer than they should have to.
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Lack of Funding
In the same way that limited access to treatment is a cause of prolonged blindness in developing countries, a lack of funding is also to blame. Many of these developing countries don’t have the resources or the support from their governments to afford this kind of treatment. According to the Tej Kohli Cornea Institute, the current solutions are expensive, and they are not scalable in these countries. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there can’t be a larger push for this cure to become more readily available for those who need it most.
What Can We Do?
Raising awareness for the impact that blindness can have on developing countries is the first step that many of us should take. There needs to be more funding allocated to this kind of cause and while there are some amazing foundations working towards this, more can be done. Tej Kohli has pledged to cure corneal blindness in poor countries but this can only be achieved if we all do our part. It is not acceptable to leave the problems of others to their own government as the funding is clearly not there.
If you can do anything to help, you should consider campaigning for the end of corneal and other forms of blindness. Many philanthropists are already pledging their support so why not join the cause and see if we can help those in the poorest countries around the world see again?