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 14th October 2021 with the theme: . Love Your Eyes. The theme wants to encourage everyone to take care of their own eyes.
The leading causes of vision impairment and blindness are uncorrected refractive errors and unoperated cataract. About 1 billion people have vision impairment globally that could be prevented or addressed. Vision impairment has a major impact on personal, social and economic aspects of a person’s life.
In the 74th World Health Assembly, member states adopted two new global targets for eye care by 2030- 40% increase in effective coverage of refractive errors & 30% increase in effective coverage of cataract surgery. These targets will focus on increasing the global eye care coverage along with increase in quality services.
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.
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.
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 (NPCBVI)* a 100% centrally sponsored scheme from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India is working since 1976 for prevention of blindness, and visual impairment through provision of comprehensive eye care services, and to enhance community awareness on eye care in India.
On World Sight Day, Let’s work together to ensure Everyone Counts.