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Thursday, 8 October 2015

World Sight Day 2015, October 8

World Sight Day, October 8.
Всемирный день зрения, 8 октября.
Journée mondiale de la vue, 8 Octobre
Día Mundial de la Visión, 08 de octubre.
يوم البصر العالمي، 8 أكتوبر

Theme 2015 : Eye care for all.
 Тема 2015: уход глаз для всех.
 Thème 2015: Soins des yeux pour tous.
 Tema de 2015: Cuidado de la vista para todos.
 موضوع عام 2015: العناية بالعين للجميع

World Sight Day 2015 key messages 

World Sight Day (WSD) is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The theme of World Sight Day 2015 (WSD13) is: Universal Eye Health. The theme is in keeping with the WHO’s Action Plan 2014-2019 and will be used for the next couple of years as a rolling theme. Each year, however, we will focus on a ‘Call to Action’, and for 2015 it is: Eye care for all.

Key messages
 •    4 out of 5 blind people are needlessly impaired; let’s work together for the elimination of avoidable blindness.
•    About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide. Preventable causes are as high as 80% of the total global visual impairment burden.
•    90% of the world's visually impaired people live in developing countries.
 •    Invest in eye health – increase budget allocations to address need.
•    Address the human resources crisis in eye health – invest in training, innovation and research
 •    Integrate eye health at every level of the health system.
•    Withdraw user fees to the poorest

 World Sight Day (WSD) is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. This year World Sight Day falls on 8 October 2015. WSD is co-ordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).  WSD became an official IAPB event in the year 2000, and has been marked in many different ways in countries around the world each year since then.

World Sight Day is the focal Advocacy and PR event for IAPB and its members and partners each year, highlighting the fact that 80% of blindness is avoidable (i.e. preventable and/or treatable) – 4 out of 5 people have avoidable visual impairment. WSD provides a platform for organisations to encourage governments, corporations, institutions and individuals to actively support global blindness prevention efforts.

World Sight Day is supported by over 140 IAPB member organisations, which include every major eye care NGO in the world, apex professional bodies for ophthalmology and optometry, teaching hospitals and corporations, united in working together to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairment. This year, IAPB challenges amateur and professional photographers around the world to join us in highlighting the impact of eye health in people’s lives, by taking part in an International Photography Competition with theme, ‘Eye care for all’.

 Every year hundreds of activities are planned and executed on World Sight Day.  While many are featured on the IAPB website’s Activity Report, this does not indicate the full scale, as organisers of events are requested but not obliged to report to IAPB. While the global WSD theme, and certain core materials are generated by IAPB, events are organised independently by IAPB member and supporter organisations.


World Sight Day this year is on 8 October 2015. In keeping with this year’s call to action, we include a number of suggestions below to help you plan your WSD Activity/Event. We are sure you have more ideas – do share them with us on and we will include them on our website and social media pages.

PHOTO COMPETITION  IAPB challenges amateur and professional photographers around the world to join us in highlighting the impact of eye health in people’s lives, by taking part in an International Photography Competition with theme, ‘Eye care for all’.  Send us your pictures – professional shoots, amateur compositions, instagrams or flickr – with the hashtag, #Eyecareforall by 8 October 2015 – World Sight Day.

PLEDGE  This World Sight Day, ask your health official or key stakeholder to join you in pledging support for blindness prevention efforts. Identify a list of activities that you can do locally so that avoidable blindness can be reduced in your area of work. Then, invite the community to pledge support so that there is “no more avoidable blindness” in the community.

Blindfolding important statues in your area can be a great media opportunity! By blindfolding an important statue, you can draw attention to the issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, including the many solutions that you help implement.  You could also invite celebrities or government functionaries to blindfold themselves and (temporarily) experience blindness – always a great media moment!   

World Sight Day is also a great time organise walks and public rallies. The WSD promotional material this year also includes designs for balloons – a very colourful way to make your presence felt. The promotional pack sent out this year also includes a few sample balloons for you to use.


 WSD is a great day for awareness raising and informing potential customers and donors of the causes of avoidable blindness and means of eradicating them. If the focus is cataract, glaucoma, refractive errors or diabetic retinopathy, it all begins  with an eye exam. This year, for the week leading up to World Sight Day organise a chain – ask every customer who walks in for an eye exam to bring in two more customers. Inform them of the need to get one’s eyes tested.


Optometry Giving Sight is urging all members of the optical community and anyone who values good vision to take part in the World Sight Day Challenge for the month of October. The World Sight Day Challenge is the largest annual global fundraising campaign to address avoidable blindness caused by uncorrected refractive error. Participating is easy – simply make a monthly or annual donation during October!


•    Why not hold a Gala Event?  Either organised by your organisation or follow the IAPB theme and join forces with other like-minded organisations and organise an extravaganza!
•    Encourage your Minister of Health & local celebrities to sign a Declaration of Support
•    Distributing Vitamin A to children in your area makes for great photo opportunities for media
•    Set up an eye screening centre and encourage people to get their eyes tested for World Sight Day
•    Take up the challenge to perform the most eye surgeries around the world in celebration of WSD
•    Raise awareness of the issues of avoidable blindness and WSD through public education in schools, during sponsored activities, including readathons and competitions etc
•    Gain pro-bono advertising to raise awareness
•    Produce a poster to be used alongside the official IAPB WSD Poster which can be used at events, in retail outlets and other locations
•    Hold a musical concert in the dark or other black out events – e.g. dinner/theatre/light projection of WSD logo on buildings etc
•    Live internet link-ups to events/operations/screenings etc and share your WSD celebration with others around the world
•    Hold AMAs on Reddit. Use Instagram or Pinterest and spread the word.

 If all stakeholders commit to making the effort in planning and working together on the suggested activities for World Sight Day, events will take place in even more countries than last year.  It does not matter how small an event you organise, the important thing is to take part and raise awareness of avoidable blindness.

Below are some simple ‘event production’ guidelines to aid all member organisations in running events:

1.    Start planning events and activities NOW.  Brainstorm ideas and communicate with all your regional and country offices to get as many things happening as possible.
2.    Ensure that any ‘Minister of Health Events’ are run in conjunction with the government supporting a solid eye health programme plan.
 3.    Presentation material is available for speakers on Microsoft Powerpoint slide programmes; Video footage is available on IAPB’s Youtube channel.  
4.    If you are planning to have media attend the event – ensure you have press packs available for them (see the basic WSD Press Pack Material list).
5.    Make sure you capture your event on camera!  Do send us feedback and a report of your event to

Three dimension to cosider when moving towards universal coverage

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