“If I had to stop work, I don’t know what I would have done. I love my job and being creative”. Andrew (56) makes graphics for the BBC, recently helping to design their coronavirus logo. Yet four years ago he was diagnosed with severe glaucoma.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suffer from many disadvantages including high prevalence of avoidable vision impairment. A national survey found the prevalence of blindness was six times higher in these groups than for other Australians. Cataract, uncorrected refractive error, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma were the main causes.
Eye health statistics can also obscure inequity. High Income North America has the lowest age-standardised rate of vision impairment in the world, 0.12%, largely driven by low rates in white persons.This however hides higher rates of vision loss among other groups.
The Seguro Integral de Salud (SIS) is a health care financing system subsidised entirely by the Government since 2001, covering eye care priority interventions through public services, to people without health insurance and living in poverty.