Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oh say, can you see?

Being able to see and therefore work helps people stay out of poverty.

About 153 million people worldwide have easily correctable vision problems that lead children to fail at school and leave adults unable to work, according to a new report released Wednesday.

A simple sight test and glasses or contact lenses could allow people to live productive working lives, said the authors of the report by the World Health Organization.

About 90 per cent of people with uncorrected refractive errors — near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism — live in low- and middle-income countries, the agency found.

"Individuals and families are frequently pushed into a cycle of deepening poverty because of their inability to see well," the WHO said in a statement released ahead of World Sight Day on Thursday.

I know an Ontario premier who needs to read this. As he didn't see fit to reverse the welfare cuts and will force more working poor to choose between poverty or not paying bills just in order to get eye exams let alone glasses.

We need to help those in the third world but can we really support a premier who thinks it is ok for Ontario citizens to face the same issues of poverty as those in third world countries?

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