18 research outputs found

    Global economic productivity losses from vision impairment and blindness.

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    BACKGROUND: In the absence of accessible, good quality eye health services and inclusive environments, vision loss can impact individuals, households and communities in many ways, including through increased poverty, reduced quality of life and reduced employment. We aimed to estimate the annual potential productivity losses associated with reduced employment due to blindness and moderate and severe vision impairment (MSVI) at a regional and global level. METHODS: We constructed a model using the most recent economic, demographic (2018) and prevalence (2020) data. Calculations were limited to the working age population (15-64 years) and presented in 2018 US Dollars purchasing power parity (ppp). Two separate models, using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Income (GNI), were calculated to maximise comparability with previous estimates. FINDINGS: We found that 160.7 million people with MSVI or blindness were within the working age and estimated that the overall relative reduction in employment by people with vision loss was 30.2%. Globally, using GDP we estimated that the annual cost of potential productivity losses of MSVI and blindness was 410.7billionppp(range410.7 billion ppp (range 322.1 - 518.7billion),or0.3518.7 billion), or 0.3% of GDP. Using GNI, overall productivity losses were estimated at 408.5 billion ppp (range 320.4−320.4 - 515.9 billion), 0.5% lower than estimates using GDP. INTERPRETATION: These findings support the view that blindness and MSVI are associated with a large economic impact worldwide. Reducing and preventing vision loss and developing and implementing strategies to help visually impaired people to find and keep employment may result in significant productivity gains. FUNDING: MJB is supported by the Wellcome Trust (207472/Z/17/Z). JR's appointment at the University of Auckland is funded by the Buchanan Charitable Foundation, New Zealand. The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health was supported by grants from The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Moorfields Eye Charity (GR001061), NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, The Wellcome Trust, Sightsavers, The Fred Hollows Foundation, The SEVA Foundation, The British Council for the Prevention of Blindness and Christian Blind Mission. The funders had no role in the design, conduct, data analysis of the study, or writing of the manuscript

    Keeping an eye on eye care: monitoring progress towards effective coverage

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    The eye care sector is well positioned to contribute to the advancement of universal health coverage within countries. Given the large unmet need for care associated with cataract and refractive error, coupled with the fact that highly cost-effective interventions exist, we propose that effective cataract surgery coverage (eCSC) and effective refractive error coverage (eREC) serve as ideal indicators to track progress in the uptake and quality of eye care services at the global level, and to monitor progress towards universal health coverage in general. Global targets for 2030 for these two indicators were endorsed by WHO Member States at the 74th World Health Assembly in May, 2021. To develop consensus on the data requirements and methods of calculating eCSC and eREC, WHO convened a series of expert consultations to make recommendations for standardising the definitions and measurement approaches for eCSC and eREC and to identify areas in which future work is required

    Eye health indicators for universal health coverage: results of a global expert prioritisation process.

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    INTRODUCTION: In its recent World Report on Vision, the WHO called for an updated approach to monitor eye health as part of universal health coverage (UHC). This project sought to develop a consensus among eye health experts from all world regions to produce a menu of indicators for countries to monitor eye health within UHC. METHODS: We reviewed the literature to create a long-list of indicators aligned to the conceptual framework for monitoring outlined in WHO's World Report on Vision. We recruited a panel of 72 global eye health experts (40% women) to participate in a two-round, online prioritisation exercise. Two-hundred indicators were presented in Round 1 and participants prioritised each on a 4-point Likert scale. The highest-ranked 95 were presented in Round 2 and were (1) scored against four criteria (feasible, actionable, reliable and internationally comparable) and (2) ranked according to their suitability as a 'core' indicator for collection by all countries. The top 30 indicators ranked by these two parameters were then used as the basis for the steering group to develop a final menu. RESULTS: The menu consists of 22 indicators, including 7 core indicators, that represent important concepts in eye health for 2020 and beyond, and are considered feasible, actionable, reliable and internationally comparable. CONCLUSION: We believe this list can inform the development of new national eye health monitoring frameworks, monitor progress on key challenges to eye health and be considered in broader UHC monitoring indices at national and international levels

    Incidence and Tracking of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in a Major Produce Production Region in California

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    Fresh vegetables have become associated with outbreaks caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7 (EcO157). Between 1995–2006, 22 produce outbreaks were documented in the United States, with nearly half traced to lettuce or spinach grown in California. Outbreaks between 2002 and 2006 induced investigations of possible sources of pre-harvest contamination on implicated farms in the Salinas and San Juan valleys of California, and a survey of the Salinas watershed. EcO157 was isolated at least once from 15 of 22 different watershed sites over a 19 month period. The incidence of EcO157 increased significantly when heavy rain caused an increased flow rate in the rivers. Approximately 1000 EcO157 isolates obtained from cultures of>100 individual samples were typed using Multi-Locus Variable-number-tandem-repeat Analysis (MLVA) to assist in identifying potential fate and transport of EcO157 in this region. A subset of these environmental isolates were typed by Pulse Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) in order to make comparisons with human clinical isolates associated with outbreak and sporadic illness. Recurrence of identical and closely related EcO157 strains from specific locations in the Salinas and San Juan valleys suggests that transport of the pathogen is usually restricted. In a preliminary study, EcO157 was detected in water at multiple locations in a low-flow creek only within 135 meters of a point source. However, possible transport up to 32 km was detected during periods of higher water flow associated with flooding. During the 2006 baby spinach outbreak investigation, transport was also detected where water was unlikely to be involved. These results indicate that contamination of the environment is a dynamic process involving multiple sources and methods of transport. Intensive studies of the sources, incidence, fate and transport of EcO157 near produce production are required to determine the mechanisms of pre-harvest contamination and potential risks for human illness

    Canagliflozin and renal outcomes in type 2 diabetes and nephropathy

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    BACKGROUND Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the leading cause of kidney failure worldwide, but few effective long-term treatments are available. In cardiovascular trials of inhibitors of sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2), exploratory results have suggested that such drugs may improve renal outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. METHODS In this double-blind, randomized trial, we assigned patients with type 2 diabetes and albuminuric chronic kidney disease to receive canagliflozin, an oral SGLT2 inhibitor, at a dose of 100 mg daily or placebo. All the patients had an estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 30 to <90 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 of body-surface area and albuminuria (ratio of albumin [mg] to creatinine [g], >300 to 5000) and were treated with renin–angiotensin system blockade. The primary outcome was a composite of end-stage kidney disease (dialysis, transplantation, or a sustained estimated GFR of <15 ml per minute per 1.73 m2), a doubling of the serum creatinine level, or death from renal or cardiovascular causes. Prespecified secondary outcomes were tested hierarchically. RESULTS The trial was stopped early after a planned interim analysis on the recommendation of the data and safety monitoring committee. At that time, 4401 patients had undergone randomization, with a median follow-up of 2.62 years. The relative risk of the primary outcome was 30% lower in the canagliflozin group than in the placebo group, with event rates of 43.2 and 61.2 per 1000 patient-years, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59 to 0.82; P=0.00001). The relative risk of the renal-specific composite of end-stage kidney disease, a doubling of the creatinine level, or death from renal causes was lower by 34% (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.81; P<0.001), and the relative risk of end-stage kidney disease was lower by 32% (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.86; P=0.002). The canagliflozin group also had a lower risk of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke (hazard ratio, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.67 to 0.95; P=0.01) and hospitalization for heart failure (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.47 to 0.80; P<0.001). There were no significant differences in rates of amputation or fracture. CONCLUSIONS In patients with type 2 diabetes and kidney disease, the risk of kidney failure and cardiovascular events was lower in the canagliflozin group than in the placebo group at a median follow-up of 2.62 years

    The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health: vision beyond 2020

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    Eye health and vision have widespread and profound implications for many aspects of life, health, sustainable development, and the economy. Yet nowadays, many people, families, and populations continue to suffer the consequences of poor access to high-quality, affordable eye care, leading to vision impairment and blindness. In 2020, an estimated 596 million people had distance vision impairment worldwide, of whom 43 million were blind. Another 510 million people had uncorrected near vision impairment, simply because of not having reading spectacles. A large proportion of those affected (90%), live in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, encouragingly, more than 90% of people with vision impairment have a preventable or treatable cause with existing highly cost-effective interventions. Eye conditions affect all stages of life, with young children and older people being particularly affected. Crucially, women, rural populations, and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have vision impairment, and this pervasive inequality needs to be addressed. By 2050, population ageing, growth, and urbanisation might lead to an estimated 895 million people with distance vision impairment, of whom 61 million will be blind. Action to prioritise eye health is needed now. This Commission defines eye health as maximised vision, ocular health, and functional ability, thereby contributing to overall health and wellbeing, social inclusion, and quality of life. Eye health is essential to achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Poor eye health and impaired vision have a negative effect on quality of life and restrict equitable access to and achievement in education and the workplace. Vision loss has substantial financial implications for affected individuals, families, and communities. Although high-quality data for global economic estimates are scarce, particularly for LMICs, conservative assessments based on the latest prevalence figures for 2020 suggest that annual global productivity loss from vision impairment is approximately US$410·7 billion purchasing power parity. Vision impairment reduces mobility, affects mental wellbeing, exacerbates risk of dementia, increases likelihood of falls and road traffic crashes, increases the need for social care, and ultimately leads to higher mortality rates. By contrast, vision facilitates many daily life activities, enables better educational outcomes, and increases work productivity, reducing inequality. An increasing amount of evidence shows the potential for vision to advance the SDGs, by contributing towards poverty reduction, zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, and decent work. Eye health is a global public priority, transforming lives in both poor and wealthy communities. Therefore, eye health needs to be reframed as a development as well as a health issue and given greater prominence within the global development and health agendas. Vision loss has many causes that require promotional, preventive, treatment, and rehabilitative interventions. Cataract, uncorrected refractive error, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy are responsible for most global vision impairment. Research has identified treatments to reduce or eliminate blindness from all these conditions; the priority is to deliver treatments where they are most needed. Proven eye care interventions, such as cataract surgery and spectacle provision, are among the most cost-effective in all of health care. Greater financial investment is needed so that millions of people living with unnecessary vision impairment and blindness can benefit from these interventions. Lessons from the past three decades give hope that this challenge can be met. Between 1990 and 2020, the age-standardised global prevalence of blindness fell by 28·5%. Since the 1990s, prevalence of major infectious causes of blindness—onchocerciasis and trachoma—have declined substantially. Hope remains that by 2030, the transmission of onchocerciasis will be interrupted, and trachoma will be eliminated as a public health problem in every country worldwide. However, the ageing population has led to a higher crude prevalence of age-related causes of blindness, and thus an increased total number of people with blindness in some regions. Despite this progress, business as usual will not keep pace with the demographic trends of an ageing global population or address the inequities that persist in each country. New threats to eye health are emerging, including the worldwide increase in diabetic retinopathy, high myopia, retinopathy of prematurity, and chronic eye diseases of ageing such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. With the projected increase in such conditions and their associated vision loss over the coming decades, urgent action is needed to develop innovative treatments and deliver services at a greater scale than previously achieved. Good eye health at the community and national level has been marginalised as a luxury available to only wealthy or urban areas. Eye health needs to be urgently brought into the mainstream of national health and development policy, planning, financing, and action. The challenge is to develop and deliver comprehensive eye health services (promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation) that address the full range of eye conditions within the context of universal health coverage. Accessing services should not bring the risk of falling into poverty and services should be of high quality, as envisaged by the WHO framework for health-care quality: effective, safe, people-centred, timely, equitable, integrated, and efficient. To this framework we add the need for services to be environmentally sustainable. Universal health coverage is not universal without eye care. Multiple obstacles need to be overcome to achieve universal coverage for eye health. Important issues include complex barriers to availability and access to quality services, cost, major shortages and maldistribution of well-trained personnel, and lack of suitable, well maintained equipment and consumables. These issues are particularly widespread in LMICs, but also occur in underserved communities in high-income countries. Strong partnerships need to be formed with natural allies working in areas affected by eye health, such as non-communicable diseases, neglected tropical diseases, healthy ageing, children's services, education, disability, and rehabilitation. The eye health sector has traditionally focused on treatment and rehabilitation, and underused health promotion and prevention strategies to lessen the impact of eye disease and reduce inequality. Solving these problems will depend on solutions established from high quality evidence that can guide more effective implementation at scale. Evidence-based approaches will need to address existing deficiencies in the supply and demand. Strategic investments in discovery research, harnessing new findings from diverse fields, and implementation research to guide effective scale up are needed globally. Encouragingly, developments in telemedicine, mobile health, artificial intelligence, and distance learning could potentially enable eye care professionals to deliver higher quality care that is more plentiful, equitable, and cost-effective. This Commission did a Grand Challenges in Global Eye Health prioritisation exercise to highlight key areas for concerted research and action. This exercise has identified a broad set of challenges spanning the fields of epidemiology, health systems, diagnostics, therapeutics, and implementation. The most compelling of these issues, picked from among 3400 suggestions proposed by 336 people from 118 countries, can help to frame the future research agenda for global eye health. In this Commission, we harness lessons learned from over two decades, present the growing evidence for the life-transforming impact of eye care, and provide a thorough understanding of rapid developments in the field. This report was created through a broad consultation involving experts within and outside the eye care sector to help inform governments and other stakeholders about the path forward for eye health beyond 2020, to further the SDGs (including universal health coverage), and work towards a world without avoidable vision loss. The next few years are a crucial time for the global eye health community and its partners in health care, government, and other sectors to consider the successes and challenges encountered in the past two decades, and at the same time to chart a way forward for the upcoming decades. Moving forward requires building on the strong foundation laid by WHO and partners in VISION 2020 with renewed impetus to ultimately deliver high quality universal eye health care for all

    The impact of company-level ART provision to a mining workforce in South Africa: a cost–benefit analysis

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    This is a mathematical model is included here with the published article.BACKGROUND: HIV impacts heavily on the operating costs of companies in sub-Saharan Africa, with many companies now providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes in the workplace. A full cost–benefit analysis of workplace ART provision has not been conducted using primary data. We developed a dynamic health-state transition model to estimate the economic impact of HIV and the cost–benefit of ART provision in a mining company in South Africa between 2003 and 2022. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A dynamic health-state transition model, called the Workplace Impact Model (WIM), was parameterised with workplace data on workforce size, composition, turnover, HIV incidence, and CD4 cell count development. Bottom-up cost analyses from the employer perspective supplied data on inpatient and outpatient resource utilisation and the costs of absenteeism and replacement of sick workers. The model was fitted to workforce HIV prevalence and separation data while incorporating parameter uncertainty; univariate sensitivity analyses were used to assess the robustness of the model findings. As ART coverage increases from 10% to 97% of eligible employees, increases in survival and retention of HIV-positive employees and associated reductions in absenteeism and benefit payments lead to cost savings compared to a scenario of no treatment provision, with the annual cost of HIV to the company decreasing by 5% (90% credibility interval [CrI] 2%–8%) and the mean cost per HIV-positive employee decreasing by 14% (90% CrI 7%–19%) by 2022. This translates into an average saving of US950,215(90950,215 (90% CrI US220,879–US$1.6 million) per year; 80% of these cost savings are due to reductions in benefit payments and inpatient care costs. Although findings are sensitive to assumptions regarding incidence and absenteeism, ART is cost-saving under considerable parameter uncertainty and in all tested scenarios, including when prevalence is reduced to 1%—except when no benefits were paid out to employees leaving the workforce and when absenteeism rates were half of what data suggested. Scaling up ART further through a universal test and treat strategy doubles savings; incorporating ART for family members reduces savings but is still marginally cost-saving compared to no treatment. Our analysis was limited to the direct cost of HIV to companies and did not examine the impact of HIV prevention policies on the miners or their families, and a few model inputs were based on limited data, though in sensitivity analysis our results were found to be robust to changes to these inputs along plausible ranges. CONCLUSIONS: Workplace ART provision can be cost-saving for companies in high HIV prevalence settings due to reductions in healthcare costs, absenteeism, and staff turnover. Company-sponsored HIV counselling and voluntary testing with ensuing treatment of all HIV-positive employees and family members should be implemented universally at workplaces in countries with high HIV prevalence.Funding for this study was obtained through a grant by GlaxoSmithKline to the Aurum Institute and direct funding from Anglo American. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript
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