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Eye care worldwide

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Around the world, as many as 43 million people are blind. Many more children and adults suffer from eye disease or an untreated visual impairment. People in the poorest countries are the most affected. The SRC provides eye care and runs educational campaigns.


Poverty causes blindness

Millions of people around the world are blind just because they are poor. They have little access to healthcare. Eye disease is not discovered in time and cannot be treated. This can lead to blindness. In addition, countless children and adults cannot read or write because they have poor eyesight. They have never had glasses. In poor countries, being blind is especially hard, as there are no resources to help blind people.

Elderly people are most likely to be blinded by cataracts, but even children can suffer this terrible fate.

Children are particularly vulnerable

Children can be indirectly affected. In many families in Africa and Asia, children spend all day taking care of blind relatives. This means they are unable to go to school. Children are also directly affected by poor eyesight. In rural regions of poorer countries, glasses are rarely available.

Near- or far-sighted children cannot read what is written on the blackboard or in a book. They are unable to get an education and sometimes stay illiterate, which is a burden throughout their lives.

Our goal

The SRC helps people with eye conditions get the treatment they need, even in poor regions. We want to prevent children and adults from suffering from avoidable diseases or becoming blind.

If someone is blinded by cataracts, they should be able to have an operation. No child should be deprived of an education just because they need to take care of a blind relative. Or because they themselves have eyesight problems.

And in doing so, we also support the UN’s SDG ’Health and well-being’.


UN global goals

What we do

Help for the people in need

The SRC sets up eye care services in Bangladesh, South Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Ghana and Togo. We work in partnership with the national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the local authorities.

  • Treatment and operations at mobile eye camps, even in remote regions

  • Eye tests in schools for children and teenagers

  • Glasses distributed to correct eyesight

  • Training for local specialists and volunteers

  • Educational campaigns in villages


Blindness prevented in 60 million people

A global initiative was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1999: Vision 2020 – The Right to Sight. Its aim is to reduce preventable blindness. The Swiss Red Cross supports this initiative, which will enable around 60 million people to have their eyesight restored by 2050.

SRC achievements


in Asia and Africa where the SRC helps blind and visually impaired people.

0cataract operations

were performed by the SRC in 2022 to restore people’s eyesight.

0eye tests

in schools so that eyesight problems can be corrected with glasses.

Where we help

We help in countries that are most affected by poverty-induced blindness. Thanks to mobile eye camps, we can even reach people living in remote villages.

Our project countries

World map.The Swiss Red Cross project countries are highlighted in red. Here is the full list: Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, South Sudan, Togo.

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