CHICAGO (Jan., 2017) – Prevent Blindness, in partnership with See Now, is taking the campaign to end avoidable blindness in the United States to congressional leaders in an effort to stop the growing number of people living with preventable vision loss.
According to the Prevent Blindness report, “Future of vision: Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” vision problems cost the United States $145 billion annually. As Congress begins considering federal funding allocations, Prevent Blindness is urging them to unlock eye care for 15 million Americans by committing an additional $6.3 million to sight-saving eye health programs that will help both children and adults.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) warned in its recent report, “Making Eye Health a Population Health Imperative: Vision for Tomorrow,” that correctable vision impairment must be eliminated by 2030 to avoid a public health crisis.
“All Americans have a right to sight, but today, that right is threatened. Lack of access to eye health services causes needless vision loss for millions of people.” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We are asking our nation’s leaders to address this public health issue by providing the resources we need to save sight.”
As part of the initiative, the See Now campaign features video testimony from patient ambassadors from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, sharing their stories of how access to eye care has changed their lives.
Additionally, Prevent Blindness is urging the public to join the See Now campaign and commit to calling on Congress to increase funding by signing its petition.
In the United States, See Now is partnering with Prevent Blindness to mobilize audiences to call for an increase in federal attention to the growing problem of eye health. See Now is a new global initiative created by The Fred Hollows Foundation, aimed at increasing awareness of eye health and mobilizing the public to end avoidable sight loss. A core approach of See Now is to collaborate with existing eye health organizations to elevate and amplify the stories of their work. In addition to the United States, the initial campaign includes an awareness effort in India.
For more information on the Prevent Blindness/See Now initiative, please visit www.preventblindness.org or www.SeeNow.org, or call Prevent Blindness at (800) 331-2020. For information on Prevent Blindness and advocacy efforts, please visit http://www.preventblindness.org/getting-started-advocacy.
About Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call (800) 331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.
About See Now
See Now is a global campaign to increase awareness and drive public mobilization on ending avoidable blindness and vision impairment. Globally, there are 285 million people living with blindness and vision impairment and 4 out of 5 cases are preventable or curable. Visit www.seenow.org for more information.