Why do we need the IAPB Vision Atlas?

Today, the world is populated by hundreds of millions of people who are unnecessarily blind or visually impaired from causes that are treatable or preventable. Proven and highly cost-effective solutions exist but have not been taken to scale – a shameful social injustice. It is our intention and hope that the IAPB Vision Atlas will become a powerful tool in the fight to redress the inequities and failings that give rise to this injustice.

The IAPB Vision Atlas brings together the latest data and evidence related to avoidable blindness and sight loss; tells the story behind the numbers; presents solutions, and good practice; highlights the opportunities to eliminate some blinding conditions; and warns of emerging threats that, if ignored, could reverse the progress that has been made in reducing prevalence over the past 25 years

The impact of Myopia throughout the developing world

Approximately half of the world’s population, including children, live in towns and cities; by 2050, nearly 70% will live in urban areas . The urban landscape dominated by concentrated areas of high-rise, high-density buildings with proximity to services and industries is not only powering the economic engine of nations but transforming the way our children see the world.

YEAR 2000

  • 20.2% Low to Moderate Myopia (1243m)

  • 2.7% High Myopia (163m)

  • 77.1% Non-Myopes

YEAR 2010

  • 24.3% Low to Moderate Myopia (1673m)

  • 4.0% High Myopia (277m)

  • 71.7% Non-Myopes

YEAR 2020

  • 28.7% Low to Moderate Myopia (2221m)

  • 5.2% High Myopia (399m)

  • 66.1% Non-Myopes

Discover the IAPB world of eye health


Blindness and Vision Impairment Prevalence

Disaggregation by gender (all ages)

Vision Atlas globe

Disaggregation by gender (adults >50)

Vision Atlas globe

Case Study

The story of Malusi Nkwanya, age 15, from Melmoth, South Africa

Malusi had a problem with his eyes, which was incredibly easy to fix! “I started noticing in the classroom that I couldn’t see properly,” he says. “Even if I was sitting right at the front I was having difficulties. My teacher wrote a letter to my parents and they sent me to see an Optometrist, where I was given glasses. Now I can see properly again and I am so happy. I want to be an engineer and without glasses I couldn’t study.”

Case study - Malusi Nkwanya picture

Almost half of all pupils in Africa’s schools for the blind needn’t be there –
they merely need a pair of spectacles!