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Advocacy Tool and Article: Estimating the Cost of Blindness

Authored by Eckert KA, Carter MJ, Lansingh VC, et al.
Posted on September 15, 2015
Topic: Advocacy/Vision 2020, Research
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Ophthalmic Epidemiology published two simple cost models developed by Eckert et al.1 that estimate the annual loss of economic productivity from blindness and moderate to severe visual impairment (MSVI) based on minimum wage (MW) and gross national income (GNI) per capita. The article, A Simple Method for Estimating the Economic Cost of Productivity Loss Due to Blindness and Moderate to Severe Visual Impairment, concludes the global economy would have much to gain if eye care were made more accessible and affordable to all.

Economic productivity loss is defined as the loss of income/earnings incurred by people with blindness or MSVI, who are not able to work or work at reduced productivity as a result of their visual impairment.

Both the MW and GNI methods to calculate productivity loss are simplified models that can be applied to any country with available data. The costs can be updated annually as economic data, demographics, and prevalence change to respond to trends in the labor market, health care, and the increase in the aging population. The GNI and MW methods are now made available to the public, with detailed instructions provided, through the Cost of Blindness Tool.

Co-authors include Van Lansingh, MD, ICO Director for Advocacy and Serge Resnikoff, MD, PhD, ICO Director for Eye Care Delivery.

Reference: 1.  Kristen A Eckert, Marissa J Carter, Van Charles Lansingh, David Wilson, Joao Furtado, Kevin Frick, Serge Resnikoff. A simple method for estimating the economic cost of productivity loss due to blindness and moderate to severe visual impairment. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2015;22:349–355.


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