No Money for the Blind
Eighty percent of the world’s blind live in developing countries. The largest concentration is in Southeast Asia. There, one out of every 25 persons is blind or partially blind, reports WHO (World Health Organization). What are the main causes? Undernourishment and infections resulting from poor hygiene.
According to the Dutch magazine Internationale Samenwerking, WHO claims that with two thousand million U.S. dollars a year, it could carry out an effective campaign against blindness in the developing countries. Although this amount is less than what the world’s governments spend for military purposes in one day, WHO declares that it is unable to acquire the needed funds.
So, lacking sufficient means, all that it can do now is to try to prevent blindness by distributing vitamin A capsules to children. About 400,000 children in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines suffer from eye disease caused by lack of vitamin A. But WHO predicts gloomily that, at the present rate, the world will have 84 million blind and partially blind persons by the year 2000.