Product Narrative: Eyeglasses

Mathilde Chaudron, Margaret Savage, Frederic Seghers, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Alison End Fineberg, Barbara Goedde, ATscale, Global Disability Innovation Hub, Vicki Austin, University College London, Catherine Holloway, Dr Ben Oldfrey, Priya Morjaria, Katherine Perry
July 30, 2020

Product Narratives

The Product Narratives are key elements of our AT2030 objectives, helping to identify opportunities for AT2030 and others to test innovative models of what works to improve access to Assistive Technology with the potential to reach scale, through innovative products, new service delivery models and local capacity.

These reports will be also foundational in informing ATscale's activities and investments in line with Objective II of ATscale Strategy Overview to identify and invest in interventions required to shape markets and overcome supply and demand-side barriers for priority AT.

We look forward to engaging with partners interested in aligning their activities with the proposed strategic approach to enable the sector to collaboratively unlock potential to reach those most in need.

These reports were developed by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) under the AT2030 programme in support of the ATscale Strategy.

Eyeglasses

At least 1 billion people have a vision impairment that is uncorrected or could have been prevented. Refractive error is the most common cause and can easily be corrected with eyeglasses. The unmet need (at least 826 million) is concentrated in lower-and middle-income countries. 

Key market barriers include: low levels of investment by governments; high costs to the end-users; complex in-country supply chains; a service delivery model that requires high levels of resources in terms of personnel and infrastructure; limited number of points of services and sales; and low awareness and acceptance of eyeglasses. Innovations in the identification of refractive errors, refraction devices, service delivery, and eyeglasses themselves may provide opportunities to address some of these barriers. 

Increasing access to eyeglasses to eliminate the burden of uncorrected refractive errors in LMICs will require a multisectoral approach that brings together the public and the private sector, multilateral organisations, and donors. This will require an approach that increases the demand for eyeglasses, raises the number of access points for screening and provision, and accelerates the availability of affordable products.

To achieve this, we propose five strategic objectives that can strengthen the market in both the short and longer-term:

• Mobilise key stakeholders, including donors, multilaterals, NGO implementers, and the private sector, around reliable data and scalable proven models to accelerate efforts against vision impairment caused by refractive errors. 
• Strengthen global policy guidance around service delivery standards for low-resource settings to accelerate the adoption of innovative models, devices, and products that support a simplified service delivery. 
• Support governments to develop comprehensive eye care plans integrating validated models of vision screening and provision within the public health system, and facilitate scale-up of those models. 
• Engage the private sector to expand delivery of affordable, quality eyeglasses and related services in LMICs. 
• Build and drive awareness and consumer demand for eyeglasses. 

Feedback

We would also appreciate receiving ongoing feedback and comments on these documents. To provide your feedback on the eyeglasses document and/or to indicate interest in participating in consultations with CHAI, please use the following link.

To learn more about the AT2030 programme, please write to Rosa Salazar at rosa.salazar@ucl.ac.uk. For questions on ATscale, please write to Alison End Fineberg, Director of ATscale, at alison@atscale2030.org.

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