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Projects and initiatives

Since its inception in 2000, the World Optometry Foundation (WOF) has supported many projects to increase the availability and effectiveness of vision care programs worldwide.

The following statistics illustrate why WOF projects are so important to tackling avoidable blindness around the world.

  • 250 million people worldwide are blind or visually impaired because they lack access to an eye examination and pair of glasses.
  • Severe refractive errors have been estimated to account for about 5 million blind people.
  • 75% of the world’s blindness is preventable.
  • More than 50% of people with low vision could be helped with low vision devices or special services.
  • 90% of avoidable blindness occurs in the developing world.

2011 projects

  • $65,000 as part of an ongoing commitment to the School of Optometry in Malawi.
  • AUS $137,500 as part of an ongoing commitment to the School of Optometry in Eritrea.
  • $137,500 as part of an ongoing commitment to the development programme in India.
  • £2,000 for ten students and five fully qualified optometrists from Cardiff University in the UK to participate in the Romania and Moldova Vision Project.  The students aim to provide vision care to over 2,000 impoverished people of all ages, spending time in orphanages, churches and schools.

2010 projects

  • $198,140 as part of an ongoing commitment to a programme of development of optometry, vision care and blindness prevention in India which seeks to train. 100,000 four year degree trained optometrists by the year 2030.  The project will also establish 100 schools of optometry, building on the present 50 schools and colleges, and create 1,000 PhD academics.
  • $50,000 for equipment to establish a refraction clinic for students at Universidade Lurio, Nampula, Mozambique.
  • $AU10,000 as part of an ongoing commitment to the School of Optometry in Eritrea.
  • $74,000 as part of an ongoing commitment to the School of Optometry in Malawi.

2009 projects

  • $165,000 for the regional school of optometry programme in Malawi which aims to dramatically increase the number of eye care professionals in Southern Africa. 
  • $100,000 for a project in Sri Lanka to train vision technicians and establish vision centres.