Sunday, June 05, 2016

The eyes have it, two months on

I had an eye check this weekend following the surgery on my eyes two months ago.

Everything seems to be going extremely well. After nearly fifty years of being utterly dependent on very strong glasses or contact lenses I no longer need either and my sight without them is nearly as good as it was with them before - in some ways better.

I also learned just before the first surgery that I was in the early stages of developing a cataract in one eye and at risk of getting one in the other. If I had been born a century or two earlier I would be facing the certainty of losing the sight of one eye and the strong possibility of going blind.

It says something about the wonders of modern medicine and is yet another indication that, however gloomy we sometimes get about the world, in many ways life is getting better for most people and has the capability of getting much better still.

Of course there are too many people in poverty, too many who do not benefit from these fantastic advantages. We must work to improve that situation - and I am proud that Britain is one of the most generous donors among rich nations and one of very few indeed which honours the promise to give 0.7% of GDP in aid. (It needs to be spent better but let us not throw the baby out with the bathwater.)

And actually, the number of people in the most extreme poverty around the world, the number who have no access to the best care is getting smaller and smaller. Don't let anyone kid you that things are getting worse. Whether we are in or out of the EU, 2016 is the best year to be alive in human history. in Britain and the world, and 2017 will be even better.

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