World Sight Day 2020: Why is It Celebrated? All About its History and Significance
World Sight Day 2020 | Image for representation | Credit: Reuters
World Sight Day is globally observed on the second Thursday of October every year. It intends to focus on vision impairment and blindness suffered by people worldwide. The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) has played a leadership role in the initiative.
World Sight Day originated in the year 1990 by an initiative of the SightFirst Campaign of Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF). The organization runs several sight programmes globally, including the development and maintenance of eye care systems, providing facilities for sight-restoring surgeries, and distribution of medication for people at high risk of suffering from eye diseases. LCIF claims that SightFirst has helped more than 30 million people worldwide in restoring or improving their vision.
The IAPB makes preparations for the annual World Sight Day under the VISION 2020 Global Initiative, which is an alliance of private and non-governmental organizations in collaboration with the World Health Organization.
Every year, there is a different theme to mark World Sight Day. IAPB is in charge of generating the theme and creating core materials for the event. This year, the theme is “Hope In Sight”.
According to the official note released on the theme, more than a billion people cannot see well because they don’t have access to glasses. It calls for political commitment to take action to make eye care an integral part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and to implement ‘integrated people-centred eye care’.
“This World Sight Day, let’s find the solutions to ensure that everyone, everywhere has access to sight. Let’s pledge to spread the message of #HopeInSight,” reads the message.
The VISION 2020 Global Initiative has been working to eliminate avoidable blindness and reduce negative effects of vision loss. According to IAPB, every four out of five cases of blindness are avoidable if they get adequate treatment. It also says that over 200 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision impairment which is treatable, but there is a lack of access to adequate facilities in many places. “Hope in Sight” focuses on narrowing this gap of medical access to vision-related issues among people across the world.