Latin America & the Caribbean

There are more than 26 million individuals who are visually impaired in Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC), including 3.2 million who are blind. Lack of research and support in the region means that the eye health of millions is being ignored, leaving many at risk of losing their sight because the proper resources are not available.

Success in LAC

Orbis has been working in Latin America and the Caribbean since 2002 in more than 16 countries, partnering with organizations like WHO and IAPB, as well as with national public ophthalmology services and the Ministries of Health.

Our work in LAC has focused on supporting research for evidence and public health institutions to prioritize eye care on the national agendas.

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, 774,060 Peruvians are visually impaired, while another 116,895 are blind. Meanwhile, 14,415 Guyanese and 233,510 Bolivians suffer from visual impairment. That’s as much as 4% of the population with visual impairment in each country. 

Cataract is the number one cause of blindness in LAC, accounting for at least 50% of all blindness. However,  many LAC countries fall well below the necessary Cataract Surgical Rate necessary to eliminate blindness from cataract. 

Countries we work in

What we're doing next

Our focus in LAC for the next few years will be to build the relationships we’ve already established, document the results and outcomes of our existing programs, and expand and scale our projects in the countries where we are active (i.e. Bolivia, Guyana and Peru).

Orbis will continue to collaborate with key regional partners, including the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).  With our partners, we will continue to work towards achievement of our eye health-specific agenda, Vision2020, formed in partnership with PAHO.