World Sight Day, observed annually on the second Thursday of October, is a global event meant to draw attention on blindness and vision impairment. It was originally initiated by the SightFirstCampaign of Lions Club International Foundation in 2000.
It has since been integrated into VISION 2020 and is coordinated by IAPB in cooperation with the World Health Organization.
"VISION 2020: The Right to Sight" is a global initiative, launched in 1999, which aims to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. VISION 2020 programmes have been adopted in more than 40 countries.
An estimated 180 million people world-wide are visually disabled. Of those, between 40 and 45 million persons are blind. Due to growing populations and ageing, these numbers are expected to double by the year 2020 making a colossal human tragedy even worse, stalling development and denying a basic human right.
World Sight Day is an annual event focusing on the problem of global blindness; it aims to raise public awareness around the world about the prevention and treatment of loss of vision.
Up to 80% of cases of blindness are avoidable, either resulting from preventable conditions (20%) or being treatable (60%) so that sight is restored. Prevention and treatment of vision loss are among the most cost-effective and successful of all health interventions. These interventions include: cataract surgery to cure this eye disease related to ageing; prevention of trachoma; provision of the drug ivermectin for the treatment of the infectious disease river blindness; immunization against measles; provision of vitamin A supplements for the prevention of childhood blindness; and provision of eyeglasses.
Source: iapb.org | who.int
In 2023 World Sight Day in USA falls on October 12.