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Editorial |

Poverty and Human Development Not a Stretch for Ophthalmology

Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125(11):1564-1565. doi:10.1001/archopht.125.11.eed70014.
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With each cataract operation, corneal transplant, and donation of azithromycin for trachoma, the opportunity occurs to enhance the quality of life through the restoration of sight or the prevention of blindness. In this way, the contribution that ophthalmology makes to the fundamental issues of human development plays out in the context of clinical care and public health. Human development—political speak for quality of life and strategies for and barriers to improvement—and the effect of poverty on human development is the subject of this special issue of Archives of Ophthalmology as well as JAMA and the other Archives journals. Ophthalmology, and ophthalmic epidemiology in particular, has had a long and abiding interest in the effect of eye diseases on disadvantaged populations worldwide, and research has evaluated the major role that poverty has on eye health. However, there are elements in the current discussions about achieving the full potential for human development that have not been linked to ophthalmology as concretely as they should have.

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