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publicado em 08/10/2012 às 13h37:00
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Investment in eye health can benefit the world economy, says WHO

Report reveals that around 703 million people are living with uncorrected refractive error worldwide

 
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Foto: University of New South Wales
Professor Brien Holden, study co-author
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Professor Brien Holden, study co-author

Study published in Boletim de outubro da Organização Mundial de Saúde (OMS) shows that governments could save millions of dollars simply by investing in providing eye exams and glasses for about 703 million people who need them.

The study estimates that 65,000 optometrists, ophthalmologists, optical distributors and other eye care professionals would be required to provide these services, which would cost between $ 20 million and 28 million.

"This amount is nothing compared with the 202 million dollars in losses annually in global gross domestic product, due to the fact that these 703 million people are living with uncorrected refractive error," says co-author at the University of Brien Holden New South Wales, Australia.

Refractive error is a common eye disease that results in blurred vision. The four main forms are myopia, hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (distorted vision) and presbyopia (which makes it impossible to read without glasses).

These conditions are the most common causes of visual impairment worldwide and the second most common cause of blindness. They can not be avoided, but can be diagnosed through an eye exam and treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery.

"Improving people's vision could generate considerable economic benefits, especially in low and middle income countries, where these problems are very incidents, and can provide an important contribution to the overall development," says Holden.

Also according to Holden, children and adults with uncorrected refractive error face many economic and social effects, including poor vision, worse education and fewer job opportunities, and social isolation and loss of productivity.

"Governments face difficult decisions on how best to use scarce resources. Now have evidence that the economic benefits for the correction of refractive error, ocular health investment should be one of the easier decisions," says co-author article, Kevin Frick, Johns Hopkins University, USA.

The researchers hope that the research may send a signal to governments around the world to improve investment in the provision of eye care services.

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Eye care    Ophthalmology    Refractive error    World economy    World Health Organization    WHO    Brien Holden   
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