Imagine a global problem that affects more than 1 Billion people directly. School Children, factory workers, truck drivers, most of them living in low and middle income countries.
The economic costs alone are more than 250 Billion USD per year; the social and cultural impact on people’s lives is even bigger.
Imagine that this problem can be solved within our lifetime. Once and for all.
The problem I am talking about is known as Uncorrected Refractive Error, with the most common forms farsightedness and near-sightedness. There is nor cure to it, and in most cases, it cannot be prevented. But most of the time, all that people need is a pair of glasses on their nose to solve the problem.
We are The Coalition for Clear Vision. And we will make sure that every person on this planet has permanent access to affordable quality eye care services and glasses by the end of 2050.
In The Coalition for Clear Vision, doctors and activists, medical professionals and scientists, professionals from business and non profits come together.
We need to act now! Uncorrected refractive error is the most common major cause of visual impairment and the second major cause of blindness worldwide. And the problem is growing dramatically, due to changes in lifestyle and demographics.
Smart people and smart organisations currently deliver services and glasses to underserved communities worldwide.
But at the same time, the market and the public sector are clearly not working for more than 1.1 billion people. They do not have access to services and glasses.
We need to scale our efforts dramatically to solve the problem once and for all.
We focus on removing barriers and use accelerators to scale our solutions, by using market forces and engaging with governments. And we will use data from private and public sources in unprecedented forms.
We address the supply chain aspect of the challenge by bringing services and glasses to underserved communities. Sometimes as charities, often by fostering market forces.
We address the demand side by tackling cultural & social barriers that prevent people from using glasses, even if they need them.
My name is Pavel Richter, and I am leading The Coalition for Clear Vision as its Executive Director.
To me, this is more than a job. It is personal. When I was about six years old, I had an accident and permanently lost the ability to use my right eye. I was lucky: through high-quality care and cutting-edge technology, what could have been a life changing event has been turned into a minor personal challenge.
It did not stop me from pursuing a successful career in business and non-profit organisations. I was privileged: I was born and raised in Germany, one of the richest, best-resourced parts of the world. But luck and privilege should not be a factor in situations such as mine – for anyone anywhere in the world.
I am proud to lead The Coalition for Clear Vision. Together, and with your support, we will solve the problem of uncorrected refractive error by 2050, once and for all.