Ensure full inclusion of the poor, the blind & people with disability

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One of the challenges of our work at the Eye Institute is making sure that those who need help  the most will have it, regardless of their ability to pay Which is why solidarity with, and support of those vulnerable and disenfranchised groups will always remain at the heart of of our work.


When it comes to limited access to health or eye care, the following groups are often the ones most at risk:

  • children, especially those coming from poor family

  • women, who in many rural communities, often rank lowest when it comes to health expenditures and as a result tend to report late (or even too late) to health facilities

  • the blind, whether children adults, male or females are seen in many communities as “not worth spending much money on”. And the poorer the family, the easier such decisions are taken.

  • people living with disability


While the link between blindness, poverty, ill health, premature death and higher mortality is fairly well known, especially among blindness prevention groups and advocates, the plight of living with disability on individuals and their families is less well known

Some Facts about Disability

What follows is a summary of some of the salient facts on disability as established by the World Health Organisation (WHO), that must be taken into account whenever equitable service delivery is being being considered.

  • Worldwide, 1 in 7 people experience or live with disability

  • Like the rest of the population, people with disabilities have the same general health care needs as others. However, they are:

    • twice more likely to find health care providers’ skills and facilities inadequate for their need and status

    • three times more likely to be denied health care

    • four times more likely to be treated badly in the health care system

  • Half of people with disabilities cannot afford health care

  • Half of them are more likely to suffer catastrophic health expenditure

  • In regions with no health insurance coverage like in most parts of Africa, these out of pocket health care payments can push a family into poverty

To truly succeed, every Inclusion Strategy must be a pro-active strategy

This is true for people with disability, but equally true for all the other “At Risk Groups” discussed above. Such a pro-active strategy must feature the following:

  • A resolute effort to seek out those marginalised groups and let them know that they are welcome to the Eye Institute, and that all those eligible for special assistance will receive it.

  • Setting up a special desk at the Institute where these people can quickly be referred to for further assistance

  • Ensuring that the health facility is disability-friendly, which in the case of the Eye Institute has meant right from the construction stage, that physical barriers are removed or significantly reduced.

  • Provision of adequate training to all staff on disability issues (including their rights) and more important, on how to make them feel truly welcome.

Some Facts about Disability


It goes without saying that such a pro-active strategy requires a robust, regular and steady support. However, this is no charity! Every child helped, every poor, blind, or disabled person helped is a second chance offered them, an opportunity for them to regain some dignity and leave a more independent and fulfilling life.


To learn more, see our How to help or Contact us pages.

+4176 805 4267

61 Rue Liotard
Genève, 1203

©2016 by That Every Life May Count

Blind lady with cataract