Earlier this month the Vision Impact Institute joined EYElliance as one of the organization’s newest members. As a multi-sector coalition, EYElliance drives the global strategy to increase access to eyeglasses in less developed countries, allowing them to take advantage of the economic and educational opportunities that good vision can bring.
“We’re honored to be a part of this coalition,” says Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director of The Vision Impact Institute. “Our organization is committed to raising awareness about the importance of correcting and protecting vision. If we’re to truly give people the opportunities that good vision brings, it’s critical to ensure that people also have access to glasses, which is what this coalition does.”
Convening almost 40 members, the organization acts as a systems level change agent identifying effective proven models and integrates those into the public and private sector systems.
Their work in Liberia is a good example of this. In 2016, with buy-in from the government, EYElliance helped build a coalition that will create a continuum of vision care that includes a national school eye health initiative and a referral network that connects patients to quality eye care at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Once operating at scale, this government-led initiative will screen one million students annually, provide glasses to those who need them, and reach over one million Liberians living in remote areas.
An estimated 2.5 billion people around the world around the world suffer from vision problems that are left uncorrected. According to EYElliance co-founder, Liz Smith, “With political will and investment, creating equitable access to eyeglasses is something this generation can accomplish. Isn’t it time everyone is able to benefit from a technology that was invented in the 13th century?”
We agree. Through its membership, the Vision Impact Institute eagerly anticipates being part of this solution.
For more information on the coalition’s work, go to eyelliance.org.