Every year, World Sight Day is observed on the second Thursday that falls in the month of October. This year in 2017, it will be observed on the 12th of October. The concept of this day as the name suggests is to raise mass awareness on issues related to the sense of sight, which are, blindness and vision impairment. Its origin dates back to the year 2000, when it was first begun by the SightFirstCampaign under the Lions Club International Foundation. Now, it is officially monitored by The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, commonly known as IAPB, and has been integrated into VISION 2020, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).
Though the observance of World Sight Day began from the year 2000, it wasn’t until the year 2005 that it started to adopt a new unique theme every year to mark its observance. The first theme in 2005 was ‘’The Right to Sight.’’ Last year in 2016, the theme of World Sight Day was ‘’Stronger Together’’ and for this year 2017, the theme is ‘’Make Vision Count.’’
Factually, around 285 million people all across the globe suffer from issues like blindness and low vision, out of which 39 million people are completely blind while the rest suffer from moderate to severe vision impairment. From the 39 million blind people, 90% of them live in low-income countries. Coming to children, approximately 19 million kids are visually impaired.
The objective of World Sight Day is to raise public awareness about vision impairment and blindness. It also focuses on encourage governments and ministers of health all across the world to be a part of the national blindness prevention programmes and designate funds in order to fight blindness, and also educate various target audiences on blindness and vision impairments, to help achieve the goal of VISION 2020 by the year 2020.
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