Sustainable Development goals

Orbis and SDGs

In September 2015, 193 countries adopted a set of ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. The Sustainable Development Goals were set by the United Nations Development Program.

How does access to quality eye health help to achieve the global goals?

Sustainable Development Goal 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Restoring sight does not just give someone their vision back. It allows a child to return to school and learn meaningfully so that they can have a bright future ahead. It allows an adult to return to work and earn an income to support themself and their families.

It allows a family member who may have previously dropped out of the workforce to take care of the individual to return to work.

Restoring sight lighten family burdens and strengthen communities.

Hamida goes back to work

August 16, 2017

Hamida had cloudy lens in both of her eyes which prevented her from earning her own keep. Thanks to the generosity of Orbis's supporters, we were able to give Hamida a new lease of life and she is able to support herself again.
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Sustainable Development Goal 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Orbis contributes to global efforts to reduce avoidable blindness caused by noncommunicable chronic diseases, such as diabetes, through prevention, provision of coordinated treatment services and promoting greater awareness of disease linkages to eye health, i.e. diabetic retinopathy.

We strengthen and develop primary health care by integrating eye care treatment and services to contribute to ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all.

Goal 3 also champions the recruitment, development and training of health workers in developing countries. By training, Orbis ensures that local eye health teams can better manage eye conditions and improve their services. It is a long-term, sustainable approach.

Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education

80% of what a child learns is visual and a child with visual impairment is disadvantaged in the classroom. Unable to see the blackboard, their academic performance worsens and many drop out of school. Investments in education need complementary investments in eye care to ensure that all children are given an equal opportunity to learn and participate in the creation of a strong, vibrant society.

A pair of glasses costing no more than USD3 has been shown to significantly improve a child’s school performance, greater than other factors such as family income and nutritional supplements.

I'm not slow!

August 16, 2017

Since birth, Sarita had been progressing slower than children her age. Her parents were extremely worried that she was “slow”. Turns out that Sarita was not slow, it was her poor vision which hindered her development!
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Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

There is a gender gap in eye health – two thirds of the world’s visually impaired people are women and girls.

Gender norms in many countries create barriers for women and girls. They may be unable to travel for treatment and may not have priority or control over finances to decide on spending.

Fighting preventable blindness contributes to greater gender equality – enabling women and girls to access education, employment, and community life.

Orbis works to reduce this disparity by bringing health care services directly to the community, thus eliminating women's barriers to eye health services.

One Woman Changed a Hospital's Quality Management

March 07, 2018

In February 2018, Elaine and Jasmine from the Singapore office visited some program partners in India and Bangladesh. Here, Jasmine shares about one of our program partners in Kolkata, India.
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Sustainable Development Goal 8 - Promote sustained inclusive and sustainable economic growth

1.1 billion have near vision impairment, which are correctable with a simple pair of spectacles. It is estimated that the global lost productivity due to uncorrected refractive errors is USD202 billion per year.

More often than not, it is the rural poor who lack access to eye care services - including the knowledge that they may be nearsighted or farsighted, and that it could be easily treated with a low-cost pair of spectacles.

With better vision, they are able to work better, work faster, and earn more in wages. Children are able to see the blackboard more clearly, do better in school and have a better future.

We know that the cost of blindness to economies is huge in terms of education, productivity, and income. However, for every $1 invested in eye health, there is, on average, a return on investment of $4 in economic gains and health savings.

Do the Global Goals refer to eye health?

Whilst Orbis focuses on fighting preventable and treatable visual impairment, the Global Goals state that no one should be ‘left behind’. The goals champion disability inclusion in the areas of education, employment, economic growth, and more. They set out a vision of a world where people who are visually impaired and blind do not experience stigma, discrimination and marginalisation.

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