Vision Impact Institute Announces Expanded Mission And Strategy
By Essilor News
Organization Looks Forward to a Reinvigorated Effort in 2015
This year, the Vision Impact Institute, supported by Essilor, renews its commitment to advocate for new data on the socio-economic impact of poor vision while expanding the scope of its mission to include the importance of healthy vision and the quality of life benefits of visual correction. Since its inception, the organization has collected more than 100 research studies with compelling evidence to help support the argument that eye health should be considered a priority of general health.
Now under new leadership with Maureen Cavanagh as president, the Vision Impact Institute aims to ignite increased attention to the cost of uncorrected refractive error – an annual global cost of $272 billion.1 By region, the cost of uncorrected vision breaks down to:
• Asia-Pacific: $158 billion
• Americas: $57 billion
• Europe: $50 billion
• Africa & Middle East: $7 billion
“Over the last two years, the Vision Impact Institute has made great strides to rally key stakeholders in the vision, research and public health communities to amplify the message of the socio-economic cost of uncorrected refractive error; but we know there is work to do to bring greater awareness to the impact of this prevalent yet easily treatable eye condition,” said Cavanagh, president of the Vision Impact Institute. “Our mission in 2015 includes a continued focus on collecting existing data and supporting new research on these global and regional socio-economic effects while also emphasizing the benefits of healthy vision and ensuring this compelling evidence gets in the right hands to support a call to action.”
Cavanagh’s team collaborates with the Vision Impact Institute advisory board including five esteemed, international experts – Pr. Kevin Frick (United States), Pr. Clare Gilbert (United Kingdom), Pr. Kovin Naidoo (South Africa), Mr. Arun Bharat Ram (India) and Mr. Wu Jianmin (China) – to ensure the organization’s rich database of scientific research and peer-reviewed studies continues to expand worldwide and is available to government policy makers, influential advocates and industry leaders to reinforce the importance of healthy vision and the benefits of vision correction.
Research and Collaborative Studies
In 2014, the Vision Impact Institute commissioned the African Vision Research Institute (AVRI) to conduct relevant research in line with the Vision Impact Institute’s global mission to create greater awareness on healthy vision and support advocacy efforts aimed at increasing investment in eye health. This partnership with AVRI will ensure that the evidence curated by the Vision Impact Institute, through research, is current and of the highest caliber.
Soon-to-be published studies include research from around the globe focused on poverty’s impact on vision and vice versa as well as a series of systematic literature reviews on the impact of uncorrected refractive error in children, adults, drivers and the elderly.
New Website Design and How to Get Involved
In April 2015, the Vision Impact Institute will launch a revamped website built on a social platform with a streamlined design optimized for mobile. The goal is to connect people with evidence for change and to each other.
Visitors to the site will easily be able to engage with the Vision Impact Institute and sign up to receive the quarterly newsletter, follow on Twitter or read the monthly blog for the most updated information or download stats and infographics. Users can even submit their own ideas, research or requests for further evidence to support the need for healthy vision.
Together, by giving vision a voice, the organization aims to help many people around the world live better lives through better sight.
1 Smith et al: Potential lost productivity resulting from the global burden of uncorrected refractive error – Bulletin of World Health Organization 2009,87: 431-437 (adjusted to 2015 population data).
About the Vision Impact Institute
The Vision Impact Institute's mission is to raise awareness about the socio-economic impact of vision impairment due to Uncorrected Refractive Error and about the benefits of visual correction. Its Advisory Board comprises five independent international experts: Pr. Kevin Frick (United States), Pr. Clare Gilbert (United Kingdom), Pr. Kovin Naidoo (South Africa), Mr. Arun Bharat Ram (India) and Mr. Wu Jianmin (China).
The Vision Impact Institute is an international not-for-profit organization, which benefits from the support of Essilor, the world leader in ophthalmic optics. The interactive web platform of the Vision Impact Institute, a unique data base of research is accessible from: https://visionimpactinstitute.org.
About the African Vision Research Institute
The African Vision Research Institute’s (AVRI) mission is to conduct research in eye health, develop research capacity of young and emerging scientists and increase information dissemination in an effort to address the challenges of vision impairment and avoidable blindness in Africa.
The institute is an African-based, non-profit organisation that has made in-roads into developing linkages in East, West and Central Africa and has formed North-South collaborative partnerships with the US, UK and Australia to strengthen delivery of its mandate. AVRI places strong focus on providing research assistance and supporting collaborative research activities that create greater awareness that is needed to support advocacy efforts aimed at increasing investment in eye health and improving quality of life. More information on the research activities engaged by the institute is accessible from: www.avri.co.za
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