YP Letters: Betty Boothroyd and why the fight for sight is woefully underfunded

Baroness Betty Boothroyd.
Baroness Betty Boothroyd.
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From: Rt Hon Baroness Betty Boothroyd, Former Speaker of House of Commons.

THIS week leading eye research charity Fight for Sight launched a campaign to raise awareness of eye health and the desperate need for more research funding.

This is an issue close to my heart. Very many people of my age are starting to have difficulty with their sight and right now there are over two million people in the UK affected by sight loss – a figure set to double by 2050.

The answer lies in research. Breakthroughs have already led to pioneering treatments that have transformed people’s lives – for example, cataract surgery which today takes just 20 minutes and benefits hundreds of thousands of people every year.

However, eye research remains woefully underfunded. A Fight for Sight review shows that just one per cent of public grant funding went to this area last year. While investigations into stem cells and gene 
therapy offer hope for the future, there is much more work to be done.

I hope others will join me in supporting Fight for Sight to achieve the next breakthrough, so we can build a future where everyone can see.