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Make Vision Count – World Sight Day 2017

by Public Health Update

Make Vision Count – World Sight Day 2017

Make Vision Count – World Sight Day 2017: World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. World Sight Day 2017 is on 12 October 2017.
This year, the ‘Call to Action‘ for World Sight Day is: Make Vision Count
WSD is co-ordinated by IAPB under the VISION 2020 Global Initiative. The theme, and certain core materials are generated by IAPB. All events are organised independently by members and supporter organisations.

According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) Prevention of Blindness and Deafness Programme:
  • About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision (severe or moderate visual impairment)
  • 4 out of 5 blind or visually impaired people are avoidably so–preventable cause are as high as 80% of the total global visual impairment burden
  • About 90% of the world’s visually impaired people live in developing countries
  • Globally, uncorrected refractive errors are the main cause of visual impairment
  • Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness
  • 65% of visually impaired, and 82% of blind people are over 50 years of age, although this age group comprises only 20% of the world population
  • Top causes of visual impairment: refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma
  • Top causes of blindness: cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration
  • The number of people visually impaired from infectious diseases has greatly reduced in the last 20 years

The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB)


VISION 2020 is a global initiative that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. It was launched on 18 February 1999 by the World Health Organization together with the more than 20 international non-governmental organisations involved in eye care and prevention and management of blindness that comprise the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). VISION 2020 is a partnership that provides guidance, technical and resource support to countries that have formally adopted its agenda.


The mission of the VISION 2020 Global Initiative is to eliminate the main causes of all preventable and treatable blindness as a public health issue by the year 2020.


VISION 2020: The Right to Sight accomplishes its mission as it attains the three major objectives: 

  • Raise the profile, among the key audiences, of the causes of avoidable blindness and the solutions that will help to eliminate the problem.
  • Identify and secure the necessary resources around the world in order to provide an increased level of prevention and treatment programmes.
  • Facilitate the planning, development and implementation of the three core Vision 2020 strategies by National Programmes.

Core strategies

  • Disease control: facilitate the implementation of specific programmes to control and treat the major causes of blindness.
  • Human resource development: support training of ophthalmologists and other eye care personnel to provide eye care. 
  • Infrastructure and appropriate technology development: assist to improve infrastructure and technology to make eye care more available and accessible.



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