World Sight Day is an annual global event dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of eye health and the prevention of avoidable blindness. Established by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), the observance focuses on promoting eye care, encouraging regular eye checks, and implementing policies to improve access to affordable and quality eye care services. The key message of this day is "Vision First!", highlighting the critical role of early detection and intervention in preserving and improving vision worldwide.
The first World Sight Day was celebrated in 2000 as an initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the United Kingdom, this observance is particularly relevant as it is estimated that there are more than 2 million people living with sight loss, and this number is expected to increase as the population ages. Every day, around 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. Leading causes of blindness and serious sight loss include age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataracts. By raising awareness and supporting research, World Sight Day aims to reduce the prevalence of these conditions in the UK and worldwide.
To mark World Sight Day in the United Kingdom, various activities and events are organised by charities, eye care professionals, and health organisations. These may include public awareness campaigns, fundraising events, free eye exams, and educational programs. Many schools also take part in the observance, using the opportunity to teach children about the importance of maintaining good eye health. World Sight Day takes place annually on the second Thursday of October, which falls on the 14th of October in 2021.
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World Sight Day references and related siteswww.iapb.org: World Sight Day