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Improving eye care and transforming lives in Mexico
Blindness is a serious health issue in Mexico. It is the second leading cause of disabilities and is often a result of cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. With 300,000 cases annually, cataracts account for 40 percent of all cases of blindness, but only 175,000 surgeries are performed each year. Diabetes affects 16 percent of Mexico's adult population, one of the highest in the world; only 50 percent of people aware of their condition. As a result, approximately 30 percent of all cases of blindness in the country approximately 9 million people are due to diabetic retinopathy. Another 2 million are presumed to have cataracts but have not yet received treatment. These numbers are projected to increase along with the rising incidence of diabetes coupled with an aging population.
Both diabetes and cataracts are avoidable with early detection and proper treatment. But while cataract surgery is considered one of the safest and most cost-effective procedures in healthcare, Mexico has the lowest cataract surgery rate among all OECD countries at 1.7 million per year well below the minimal acceptable rate of 3.5 million per year set by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, Mexicans have already lost 55,000 healthy years as a result of blindness among poor people, and the number continues to grow.
salauno, a provider of low-cost, high-quality ophthalmic care to Mexico's mid- and low-income populations, has joined the Business Call to Action with a plan to increase the number of patients it treats each year and expand its reach in Latin America by 2020.
By leveraging the cost efficiencies of its hub-and-spoke model, salauno aims to become Mexico's leading provider of eye care by 2020 serving 500,000 low-income patients with a full range of ophthalmic services and perform 25,000 surgeries annually; this will require expanding the number of clinics and hospitals ten times. The increase in patients and facilities will enable the company to continue providing high-quality eye care at rates that are 40 percent below market.