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International Perspective

For your reading convenients below you will find all the International Perspective published in 2019

January 2019

Happy New Year readers!
Unfortunately, I do not have an interview article for the International Perspective segment this month. I am always looking for people to interview about life in their country as a blind person. If interested please contact me at my email address above. We can do this one of two ways; you can write the article on your own, or I can interview you and write it up for you. Some countries I have not yet covered include Italy, Poland, Iceland, Lithuania, Bahamas, Saudi Arabia, just to name a few.

Until I have interviews with people from other countries, I will write up some interesting facts/ statistics about blindness in other countries.
Country: India
Blindness population: 12 million
Global blindness population: 39 million
National Program for Control of Blindness (NPCB) blindness definition: Vision of 6/60 or less and a visual field loss of 20 degrees or less in the better eye, after spectacle correction.
A person unable to count fingers from a distance of six meters (19.7 feet) is categorized as “blind” in India.
World Health Organization (WHO) blindness definition: Visual sharpness of less than 3/60, or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 10 degrees in the better eye, even with the best possible spectacle correction.
A person unable to count fingers from a distance of 3 meters (9.8 feet) is categorized as “blind” according to WHO.

Under Vision 2020, India has to reduce the prevalence of blindness to 0.3% of the total population. India’s NPCB is adopting the WHO’s blindness criteria, therefore, India can achieve the Vision 2020 goal. They estimate with the change in the blindness definition, 4 million people will no longer be classified as blind.

Statistics based on 2017 World Health Organization estimates
About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide
39 million are blind
246 million have low vision (severe or moderate visual impairment)
About 90 per cent of the world's visually impaired people live in developing countries
Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment
65 per cent of visually impaired, and 82 per cent of blind people are over 50 years of age, although this age group comprises only 20 per cent of the world population
Top causes of visual impairment: refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma
Top causes of blindness: cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration
While there is still a long way to go when it comes to eye health, the number of people visually impaired from infectious diseases, however, has greatly reduced in the last 20 years.

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