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World Sight Day is observed on 10 October and the 2019 theme is 'Vision First'. It aims to focus on vision impairment and blindness and to increase attention towards eye care globally. More than a billion people cannot see properly, because they have no access to eyeglasses.
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) observes World Sight Day under the VISION 2020 Global Initiative. IAPB creates a theme for each year's World Sight Day, while members and supporters of organizations manage individual events.
The VISION 2020 Global Initiative is a combination of international, non-governmental and private organizations that collaborate with the WHO. The main aim of VISION 2020 is to eradicate blindness fully by 2020.
According to the IAPB, 36 million people are blind and the other 217 million people have moderate to severe vision impairment (MSVI).
History Of World Sight Day
The World Sight Day was established as a part of the SightFirst Campaign held by the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) in 2000. The LCIF is a global leader that lends its support to help prevent avoidable blindness and restore sight for people from all around the world.
It hosts a number of programs that help support the development and improvement of eye care, provide resources for sight-restoring surgeries and treatments, and distribute medicines to people who are at a risk for eye diseases.
Themes For World Sight Day
There was no particular theme for the World Sight Day from 2000 to 2004. The themes for the succeeding years are as follows.
- 2005 - The Right to Sight
- 2006 - Low Vision
- 2007 - Vision for Children
- 2008 - Fighting Vision Impairment in Later Life
- 2009 - Gender and Eye Health
- 2010 - Countdown to 2020
- 2011 - No theme
- 2012 - No theme
- 2013 - Universal Eye Health
- 2014 - No More Avoidable Blindness
- 2015 - Eye Care For All
- 2016 - Stronger Together
- 2017 - Make Vision Count
- 2018 - Eye Care Everywhere