social development and health the case for eye care n.
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Social Development and Health: The Case For Eye Care. G.V.S.Murthy. What is Social Development?. A process which transforms social structures and improves the capacity of society to fulfil its aspirations. Implies a qualitative change in the way society carries out its activities

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what is social development
What is Social Development?
  • A process which transforms social structures and improves the capacity of society to fulfil its aspirations.
  • Implies a qualitative change in the way society carries out its activities
  • Improved social actions through more progressive attitudes and behavior by the population
  • Adoption of more effective social organizations or more advanced technology which may have been developed elsewhere.

Though usually beneficial to society, sometimes the process may result in negative side-effects

economic definition of social development
Economic definition of social development
  • Many economists believe that development is reflected by increasing incomes.
  • Larger income levels achieved after discounting for population increase are thought to constitute higher levels of development
social development un view
Social Development: UN view
  • Not just $$$$$$$$$:
    • Poverty eradication
    • Employment generation
    • Social integration
social development process
Social Development Process

Cross cutting approach supporting:

  • Greater inclusiveness and equity in services, resources and opportunities
  • Greater empowerment of poor and marginalized groups for participation in social, economic and political life
  • Greater security to cope with chronic or sudden risks, especially for poor and marginalized groups.
development of society
Development of Society

The development of a society can be judged by:

  • Quality of its population’s health
  • Equitable distribution of health across the social spectrum
  • Degree of protection provided from disadvantage as a result of ill-health
scope of social development
Scope of Social Development
  • Improve the conditions of daily life – the circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.
  • Tackle inequitable distribution of power, money and resources as these are the social drivers of daily life
Social development aims to empower people to bring about economic and social improvement in their lives.
  • Development is a process and not a program or a policy
  • Empowering the poorest people by increasing their human, social and political assets so they are aware of their rights, can claim their entitlements and resist exploitation (BRAC).
what has social development achieved globally
What has social development achieved globally?
  • Primary education has been augmented and has a long lasting permanent effect on today’s children
  • Many individuals are alive today due to immunization, antiretroviral treatment and primary health care
  • External debts have been written off freeing resources for development
  • Millions of tons of ozone depleting substances have been prevented from entering the atmosphere
the poor
The ‘Poor’
  • Not only those with the poorest incomes, but also:
  • Those most deprived of health, education and other aspects of human well being
poverty compromises development
Poverty Compromises Development
  • Poor mothers more likely to due during childbirth
  • Children from poor families more likely to be malnourished and at a higher risk of disease and death
  • Poor children receive less education and some may never know what education means
  • Gender imbalances are more pronounced among the poor excluding them from development benefits and opportunities.
  • Incomes of the poor are compromised to a greater extent by natural calamities, civil unrest and economic fluctuations
disability development
Disability & Development
  • Disability increases risk of becoming poor
  • Disability leads to loss of employment, change to less productive employment
  • Disability of one household member limits the employment of other family members
  • Affected households are more likely to suffer from hunger and food scarcity
  • Disabled children are less likely to go to school
  • Greater risk of accidents and mortality among disabled.
disability and development
Disability and Development
  • Affected households have lower savings and higher debt
  • Less access to development assistance
  • Socially isolated
  • Reduced marriage prospects
  • Higher rates of domestic violence
visual impairment and development
Visual Impairment and Development

Among all disabled, visually impaired are more likely to be unemployed

Income loss is most severe among VI

5.5% of productivity may be lost at community level due to disability and VI may cost 0.5% of GDP in poor/ developing countries

mdg 1 eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
MDG 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Halve between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is < 1$ per day:
    • Food prices have gone up
    • Agricultural debts have increased
    • Conflict related migration has increased
  • Achieve productive employment & decent work for all including women and young adults
    • Women less likely to have work
    • Low pay structures
    • Lack of social security off work
  • Halve proportion who suffer from hunger
    • Poor most affected by increasing prices
mdg1 and eye care
MDG1 and Eye Care
  • Poverty can be both the cause and the consequence of blindness
  • Poor communities are more likely to be affected by vitamin A deficiency, measles infection, trachoma and exposure to biomass fuels
  • Blind individuals are less likely to assess eye care services, education or rehabilitation
  • Blindness can worsen effect of poverty through lower productivity and inability to contribute to family income

Gilbert C et al. CEHJ 2007; 20: 62-64

poverty and blindness
Poverty and Blindness
  • Prevalence of blindness was highest among poor individuals in Pakistan
  • Cataract surgical coverage was the lowest among the poor households
  • IOL rate was 45% among poor households compared to 68% among affluent households
  • Spectacle coverage rate was 7.3% for poor households compared to 25.9% among affluent households

Gilbert C et al. BMJ 2008336:29-32.

impact of cataract surgery in 3 countries
Impact of Cataract Surgery in 3 countries

Before Surgery

Older people with impairment had:

  • greater difficulty in activities for daily living,
  • less able to earn a living or contribute to the household,
  • less likely to engage in social and family life,
  • more anxious and depressed,
  • reduced social status and self esteem

After Surgery

Subjects reported:

  • greater social inclusion and participation,
  • increased self esteem, improved communication and social relationships,
  • positive social and financial consequences

Polock S. CEHJ 2008; 21: 24-25

mdg2 achieve universal primary education
MDG2:Achieve universal primary education
  • Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere (boys and girls) able to complete a full course of primary schooling
  • Quality education is also important and encompasses basic literacy and numeracy skills and complete primary schooling in time
    • Net enrolment ratio increased to 90% in 2006
    • Attendance higher in urban schools
    • Poorest children least likely to attend school
mdg2 education eye care
MDG2: Education & Eye Care
  • 90% of visually impaired children in low-income countries do not go to school
  • There are more boys than girls in schools for the blind
  • Lack of suitable educational material and teachers
  • Lack of awareness
  • Distance to schools
  • Lack of provision of LV aids/ spectacles may reduce access to school
  • Blind adults may keep children away from school

Gilbert C et al. BMJ 2008336:29-32.

mdg3 promote gender equality and empower women
MDG3: Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Target: Eliminate gender disparity in primary & secondary education
    • Where gender disparity reduces in primary schooling, more girls go on to secondary schooling
    • Targeted action is needed to help rural poor girls to stay in school
    • Job opportunities for women have increased but women often remain trapped in low paid insecure jobs
    • Increased political participation of women will enable decision making empowerment
      • Women occupy 20% parliamentary seats in 20 countries but none in Asia
gender and development
Gender and development
  • Gender equality and empowering women helps sustainable development
  • Relative neglect, bias and discrimination against women pervades most societies in developing countries, more so in South Asia.
  • Achieving gender parity in primary and secondary school enrolment, women’s self employment and rights to land and other assets are the key to a country’s economic development
  • Achieving gender equality promotes women’s participation in decision making at all levels from the family to the country.
mdg4 reduce child mortality
MDG4: Reduce child mortality
  • Target: Reduce <5 mortality by 2/3 by 2015
    • In 2006, 10 million <5 children died globally – the lowest in memory
    • Leading causes of death are easily preventable by simple improvements in basic health services
    • 1/3 of all deaths are related to malnutrition
    • In 2006, 80% of children received measles vaccine
mdg4 child mortality and eye care
MDG4: Child mortality and eye care
  • Half a million children go blind every year
  • 60% of blind children die within 2 years
  • Many conditions that lead to blindness also lead to mortality
    • Vitamin A deficiency
    • Measles
    • Congenital Rubella Syndromme
    • Meningitis
  • VISION2020 target of eliminating corneal scarring in children by 2020
  • VISION2020 target of halving childhood blindness due to avoidable causes

Gilbert C et al. BMJ 2008336:29-32.

mdg5 improve maternal health
MDG5:Improve Maternal Health
  • Target: Achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015
    • In 2005, > 500,000 women died during pregnancy
    • Proportion of deliveries in institutions was 47% in developing countries in 2005
    • Unmet need for Family planning is highest in poor families
why maternal health
Why Maternal Health?
  • Malnourished mothers more likely to have malnourished children
  • Reduced spacing between child birth increases mortality and malnutrition
  • Lack of institutional delivery increases risk of mortality and birth trauma
  • Lack of antenatal care increases infections and malnutrition during pregnancy

Hien NN et al. J Prev Med Pub Health2008; 41:232-40;

Al Adili N et al. Scand J Public Health 2008;36:292-297;

Titaley CR et al.BMC Pub Health 2008; 8:232

mdg6 combat hiv aids malaria other diseases
MDG6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria & other diseases
  • Target: Halt the spread and reverse trend of HIV by 2015
  • No. of newly infected declined to 2.7 mil in 2007
  • Women represent growing share of people living with HIV
  • Children orphaned by AIDS is increasing
  • Reverse incidence of malaria, TB and other major diseases
mdg6 and eye care
MDG6 and Eye Care
  • People with disability (including blind) are more exposed to infectious diseases
  • They have less access to information
  • Reduced access to treatment and rehabilitation services
  • Experience of Oncho Control will help in control of other NTD

Gilbert C et al. BMJ 2008336:29-32.

mdg7 enusure environmental sustainability
MDG7:Enusure environmental sustainability
  • Sustainable development to reverse loss of environmental resources
    • Contain greenhouse gas emissions
    • Limit ozone depletion substances
  • Reduce biodiversity loss with significant reduction by 2010.
  • Halve the population without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015
  • Significant improvement in lives of 100 mil slum dwellers
mdg7 and eye care
MDG7 and Eye Care

Adequate safe water and environmental sanitation are related to social development and blinding eye conditions like Trachoma and Vitamin A deficiency on the other

mdg8 ensure global partnership for development
MDG8: Ensure global partnership for development
  • Developed countries pledged to increase aid from $80 billion in 2004 to $100 billion in 2010 at 2004 prices.
  • Debt relief grants have decreased between 2005 and 2007
  • Aid disbursement ↓ by 8.4% in 2007 compared to 2007
  • Development assistance needs to be scaled up significantly by 2010
  • Improved market access needed for developing countries
  • Provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.
  • Increase access to new technology especially information and communication
mdg8 and eye care
MDG8 and eye care
  • VISION2020 is built on global, regional and national partnerships
  • Supporting VISION2020 therefore supports the global development agenda
eliminating poverty the millennium development goals current challenges
Eliminating Poverty- The Millennium Development Goals: Current Challenges
  • Environment existing since 2000 is now under threat due to:
    • Global economic slowdown
    • Food security crisis
    • Global warming
  • Economic slowdown will:
      • Diminish incomes of poor
      • Increase number of people in hunger
      • Push millions more into poverty
      • Climate change will affect the poor disproportionately
moral of the story
Moral of the Story
  • Impaired health (including vision related) exacerbates poverty and undermines development, either directly or indirectly by lowering growth.
  • Conditions in which people live, work and die are shaped by political, social and economic forces
what comes first
What Comes First?





where can we act



Where Can We Act?


how can we act now
How Can We Act NOW?


















organizational support
Organizational Support
  • Earmark a specific proportion for development work in the Health Programme Budgets
  • Monitor Performance by support to development activities
  • Support Staff to help in Adult Literacy
  • Set up incentives for development staff and teachers who participate in eye care activities – Case detection; Motivation; Communication of Health messages
  • Support SHG with eye care services
  • Identify and Support Poor Families by creating a corpus for health services