Globally, at least 2.2 billion people are affected by blindness or vision impairment. Of those cases, almost half could have been prevented or have yet to be addressed. Untreated eye health issues such as cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors are the leading cause of preventable blindness or vision impairment.
To emphasize the importance of preventative eye health measures, especially in underserved communities, The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the World Health Organization (WHO) sponsor World Sight Day, a global event held annually to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment.
WHAT IS WORLD SIGHT DAY?
World Sight Day is an opportunity for the world to focus its attention on the global issue of eye health. By partnering with non-government organizations, professional associations, and eye-care institutions and corporations, World Sight Day raises awareness for the eye health of individuals, families, and communities. The annual event has created a platform to influence decision-makers to prioritize eye health initiatives and increase demand for eye health services globally.
WORLD SIGHT DAY 2022
The first World Sight Day was held on October 8, 1998, by the Lions Club International Foundation. It was later incorporated into VISION 2020, a global initiative by IAPB in coordination with WHO. Since then, World Sight Day has been held on the second Thursday of October each year with a unique theme. This year, World Sight Day is October 13, 2022, and the theme is #LoveYourEyes.
According to the IAPB website, “Eye health impacts education, employment, quality of life, poverty and so many other Sustainable Development Goals. This World Sight Day, we want organizations and the public to come together to encourage governments, corporations, institutions, and individuals to actively call for universal access to eye health.”
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?
You can #LoveYourEyes by pledging to have a sight test or care for your eyes by prioritizing and protecting them. Once you have pledged, you can share your pledge on social media! The IAPB has a goal of 5 million pledges, and we encourage you to be among them.
You can submit your photography to the World Sight Day 2022 photo competition. Demonstrate your skills and share what it means to #LoveYourEyes by submitting work that showcases the social and economic impact of vision loss or celebrates the hard work of those who ensure healthy vision for all.
Finally, you can explore the toolkits and other resources that IAPB and WHO have compiled on the World Sight Day website.