On 8 October 2015 it will be World Sight Day. Celebrated around the globe, the day aims to raise awareness of blindness and vision impairment, as well as ways to help people with these conditions.
The event is organised by Vision 2020, the global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness. It was formed by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to promote everyone's 'right to sight.'
However, you won’t be seeing Specsavers and Optical Express out in places like Somalia any time soon. The really sad fact is that many people just can’t afford to see. It's estimated that 90% of blind people live in low-income countries, yet 80% of blindness is preventable or avoidable with treatment.
Take Dawi Denku in Ethiopia. For Dawi, it was essential that she work in order to feed and clothe her grandchildren. But she couldn’t work by selling grain or do house work because she was suffering from trichiasis – a condition that causes the eyelashes to grow inward and scratch painfully at the corneas.
This meant she couldn’t see – but she has since managed to receive treatment and is now able to work on the market once again. Probably most of us take our sight for granted for the most part and hearing stories like this definitely makes me appreciate my vision all the more!
It's estimated that 90% of blind people live in low-income countries, yet 80% of blindness is preventable or avoidable with treatment.
This year the theme for the day is 'No more avoidable blindness' and it is hoped that all organisations participating in events will use the day to highlight the areas that they feel are most important and require priority, for example, 'no more Cataract'.
It's easy to get involved. If you visit the official World Sight Day website you can find out all about ways to help out. You can also see a list of all the organisations involved, like Sightsavers, an international a charity which works to eliminate avoidable blindness, and if you want to show your support you can make a donation at their official website.
Go on, get involved and make a difference this World Sight Day!October › World Sight Day