New Delhi: World Sight Day (WSD) is an international day of awareness, observed annually on the second Thursday of October, to focus attention on the global issue of eye health. This year, World Sight Day is on October 14.
The global event draws attention towards blindness, visual impairments, and the prevention methods of both. It is considered the most important advocacy and communications event on the eye health calendar.
World Sight Day History
World Sight Day (WSD) was originally initiated in the year 2000 as part of the SightFirst Campaign launched by the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF).
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinate and organise World Sight Day (WSD) every year. Each year, the theme is decided by IAPB.
Countries around the world have observed this event in different ways.
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom joined the agency’s cause in 2020.
World Sight Day Significance
On World Sight Day, IAPB works to raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment as major international public health issues.
The members of IAPB also influence governments and health ministers of different countries to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes.
They also educate target audiences about blindness prevention.
WSD is supported by more than 150 IAPB member organisations, that include major eye care NGOs in the world, top professional organisations for ophthalmology and optometry and teaching hospitals, which work together to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual Impairment.
World Sight Day 2021 Theme
The theme of World Sight Day 2021 is #LoveYourEyes. IAPB has chosen the theme of #LoveYourEyes to address the bigger picture of eye health at the national and global levels, and to highlight the importance of being aware of one’s own eye health.
More than 3 out of 4 of the world’s vision-impaired are avoidably so. Keeping the cause in mind, this year’s World Sight Day theme ‘Love Your Eyes’ is to encourage everyone to go for an eye test, taking necessary precautions, and to increase awareness about eye care issues that impact every age group, especially those who are vulnerable — young, school-going children, the elderly, and those with diabetes.
Through the EVERYONE COUNTS Global Challenge, IAPB aims to get over 1 million people to pledge to have their eyesight tested. As of now, more than 7,79,000 pledges have been made.
IAPB has listed out four Ps as it exhorts people to “love your eyes” — prevent sight loss, protect, preserve and prioritise vision.
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