October 8, 2020
World Sight Day (WSD) is celebrated every year on the second Thursday of October to draw global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year World Sight Day falls on 8 October 2020 with the theme: Hope In Sight.
WSD is coordinated by the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to highlight the fact that more than 75% of all blindness and moderate and severe vision impairment is avoidable. WSD provides a platform for everyone to encourage governments, institutions, and individuals to intensify ‘integrated people- centred eye care’.
The first report on vision was launched in 2019 by World Health Organisation (WHO). According to this information, at least 2.2 billion people globally have a vision impairment or blindness, of whom more than 1 billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented if they have got the care they needed for conditions like short and farsightedness, glaucoma and cataract.
Other common conditions contributing to visual impairment are:
Myopia (near-sightedness): Increased time spent indoors and increased “near work” activities are leading to more people having myopia. Increase outdoor time, this is beneficial in reducing this risk.
Diabetic retinopathy: Type 2 diabetes is a common cause of visual impairment should be detected early and treated.
Late detection: Poor access to routine eye checkups due to weak integrated eye care services leads to low coverage of early detection of eye conditions. Hence eye care should be an integral part of universal health coverage.
73rd World Health Assembly recommended the integration of eye care with primary health care level to ensure prevention, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation. And people can access services closer to their homes.
People and communities should be made more aware of eye care needs with their engagement in service delivery. Preventing and addressing vision impairment not only improve the quality of life but also enable people to remain economically productive.
National Programme for Control of Blindness & Visual Impairment,* a 100% centrally sponsored scheme from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is working since 1976 for prevention of blindness, visual impairment through provision of comprehensive eye care services, and to enhance community awareness on eye care in India.
This World Sight Day let’s contribute to ensuring that everyone, everywhere has access to sight with the message #HopeInsight.