World Sight Day is an annual commemoration that falls on October 8th of this year. Vision or sight for any person is indeed a vital thing to look or see the world. The visionary problem exists from children to adults to old age people. It is an advocacy and discussions event about the vision on the eye health calendar. World Sight Day is an international observance that focuses on bringing attention, awareness on blindness and vision impairment.
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller
History of World Sight Day
The second Thursday of every October is observed as World Sight Day (WSD). It was first observed in the year 2007. World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) created this day. The organizations aimed at spreading awareness about visionary problems through a large number of different events. There are so many age-related circumstances which lead to the blindness like cataract, refractive error, and glaucoma. These visionary problems can be quickly and easily treated or cured at a low cost. The timely intervention will often delay or reduce their vision consequences. The awareness event aims to educate the public globally on how to prevent and treat the loss of vision.
According to the WHO survey, people live for longer, but they tend to exist with the blindness, a chronic condition which is continuously increasing. WHO states that 45 million blind peoples in the world, i.e., nearly 80 per cent are over 50 years of age. Of about 90 per cent of the blind people reside in low-income countries. They are older people, particularly older women, who are facing difficulties in getting essential eye health care. World Sight Day was first initiated by the SightFirstCampaign of the Lions Club International Foundation originated in 2000.
Lions Clubs International in collaboration with blindness prevention organizations from all over the world commemorates the World Sight Day on October 8, 1998. Later this event was integrated into a global initiative coordinated by the IAPB named VISION 2020. It is a joint program initiative between WHO and the IAPB. Many non-government organizations, communities, and professional associations, eye care institutions and corporations are involved. The IAPB generates theme and certain core materials for the event. Members and supporter of those organizations independently organize all the events.
Themes of World Sight Day
- 2005 – The Right to Sight
- 2006 – Low Vision
- 2007 – Vision for Children
- 2008 – Fighting Vision Impairment in Later Life
- 2009 – Gender and Eye Health
- 2010 – Countdown to 2020
- 2013 – Universal Eye Health
- 2014 – No more Avoidable Blindness
- 2015 – Eyecare for all
- 2016 – Stronger Together
- 2017 – Make Vision Count
- 2018 – Eye Care Everywhere
- 2019 – Vision First
- 2020 – Hope In Sight
How to Celebrate World Sight Day
Indulge yourself to raise public awareness about blindness and vision impairment. You can educate people about VISION 2020 and blindness prevention. Take part in awareness-raising walks or distribute pamphlets, posters, bookmarks, booklets that carry information the raise awareness about preventable blindness. Plant trees to commemorate this Day. You can submit a photo for an international photo montage that focuses on the theme of blindness. Post and share your celebrations on social media using the hashtag #WorldSightDay.
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