Karnani, Aneel / Garette, Bernard / Kassalow, Jordan / Lee, Moses / 2011. Better vision for the Poor.
Stanford Social Innovation Review, 9 (2): 66-71.

Estimates for the number of poor people worldwide who need eyeglasses are startling. The World Health Organization reports approximately 517 million people in developing countries are visually impaired because they do not have access to corrective treatment. The Centre for Vision in the Developing World at Oxford University has a higher estimate: More than 1 billion people need but do not get vision correction. There is a simple, old, and cost-effective technology to solve this problem – eyeglasses. Yet the problem persists on a vast scale. Visual impairment is more than just a health problem. It has economic, educational, and public safety implications. VisionSpring, founded in 2001 as a nonprofit dedicated to reducing poverty and generating opportunity in the developing world through the sale of affordable eyeglasses, uses a social entrepreneurhip approach. Cultural biases related to comfort and attractiveness also pose hurdles for the use of eyeglasses.

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Appeared in

Sector: Health Providers, Medical Devices
Region: East Africa East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia