Eyeglasses. A simple solution.

By Million Moms Challenge

Oct 13, 2011 4:00am

By JOY MARINI, Director of Corporate Contributions for Johnson & Johnson, Maternal and Child Health


“I need longer arms.” That is a phrase that I remember hearing my parents say, and as I have gotten older, that phrase now has a personal meaning. Most people, as they pass 40 years old, begin developing presbyopia, which is a condition where the eyes lose the ability to focus on close objects.  We start holding our books farther away to read the fine print because we can’t see things that are near.  Like gray hair, it is a natural progression of aging.

I was hemming my son’s pants for Boy Scouts the other day and I could not thread the needle. I could not even see the eye of the needle or the thread. I reached over to my eyeglasses – a cheap pair from a local pharmacy. They’re so inexpensive that I keep several pairs of eyeglasses around my house and I don’t think twice about it.

However, for people living in the developing world, the solution is not as easy.

People living in developing countries often rely on producing  fine work, such as tailoring, weaving, or even repairing small items to earn a living, What happens when they have trouble seeing? Are they at risk of losing their livelihoods when they are unable to perform the skills that they need to support their families?

The cost of vision loss is a staggering $3 trillion for the 733 million people living with poor vision and blindness across the globe, and 87 percent of the visually impaired live in developing countries. Besides the economic effects, poor vision prevents people them from living full, independent lives. Eyeglasses are a cost-effective solution that not only improves one’s sight, but also the quality of life for people in the developing world.

VisionSpring works to provide high-quality, low-cost vision care and eyeglasses to communities across the developing world, where access to basic vision care is not available. The purchase of $4 eyeglasses increases one person’s productivity by 35 percent a year. This translates to earning roughly an additional $381 over a two-year period, which makes a huge difference for a person living off two dollars a day.

Johnson & Johnson has been partnering with VisionSpring to provide low-cost eyeglasses and screenings to people in Indonesia and Bangladesh.  Besides providing care and eyeglasses, VisionSpring’s model works with local microcredit organizations, such as BRAC, to empower and train women to become Vision Entrepreneurs. The Vision Entrepreneurs are set up with an “optometry shop” bag that contains a basic screening kit and a variety of eyeglasses. They are able to do basic screenings, sell a variety of eyeglasses and refer to an optometrist if they cannot help the person that they have screened.

These women are helping to fill a gap in the healthcare system by providing the care otherwise unavailable in their local villages. And in doing so, they are working to provide for their own families, as well as helping to improve the quality of life for the people they serve.  VisionSpring’s work fits right into my vision of the future where people can be productive throughout their lives.


October 13 is World Sight Day. VisionSpring is helping individuals get their livelihoods back and to lead fuller, healthier lives.  VisionSpring was featured on Good Morning America’s segment, “Be the Change, Save a Life” in June.

User Comments

Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info specifically the last part I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

Posted by: Carmelita Iguina | October 15, 2011 1:41 am

We are usually to blogging and we actually appreciate your content. The article has really peaks our interest. we are going to bookmark your web site and preserve checking for brand spanking new information.

Posted by: Otilia Phippen | October 15, 2011 2:29 am

Thx for the Share ! 3D Eye Lash Extension

Posted by: Eye Lash Extensions | October 17, 2011 1:56 pm

Is it possible for a 16 year old to make money out of blogging?. . I have no idea what a blog is or how they work.. . I know that it can make money though. . Thanks!.

Posted by: photography courses online free | October 18, 2011 4:08 am

Download error here is your download link we couldnt some how reach you with e-mail

Posted by: Rosina Pantalone | October 20, 2011 9:01 am

this is your last opportunity ,take it or leave it http://9oul.com/cash

Posted by: Jamar Halphen | October 20, 2011 9:39 am

Private And Confidential don’t share http://9oul.com/cash

Posted by: Thaddeus Crosland | October 20, 2011 11:57 pm

I as well as my pals appeared to be reading the nice helpful tips found on the website and so instantly developed an awful suspicion I never expressed respect to the web blog owner for those secrets. Most of the people happened to be excited to read through all of them and now have extremely been loving those things. We appreciate you turning out to be considerably kind and for choosing such nice guides millions of individuals are really desperate to know about. Our sincere apologies for not saying thanks to you earlier.

Posted by: Romana Mandarino | October 27, 2011 2:16 am

16 Really impressed! Everything is very, very clear, open is a description of the problem. It contains the information.

Posted by: how to make your eyesight better | October 27, 2011 4:32 am

39 The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me. You have a very impressive writing style. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: how to make your eyesight better | October 27, 2011 4:33 am

In the awesome pattern of things you’ll get an A for effort. Where exactly you misplaced me was first in the specifics. As as the maxim goes, the devil is in the details… And it couldn’t be much more accurate at this point. Having said that, allow me reveal to you just what exactly did work. The article (parts of it) is certainly quite engaging which is possibly why I am taking the effort in order to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, whilst I can certainly see the jumps in reason you come up with, I am not really certain of just how you seem to connect the ideas which inturn help to make the actual final result. For the moment I will, no doubt yield to your issue but wish in the near future you connect the dots much better.

Posted by: neuroscience | October 27, 2011 5:35 pm