WORLD SIGHT DAY: OCTOBER 11, 2012

 

WORLD SIGHT DAY

Quick Facts

World Sight Day is annually held on the second Thursday of October to raise awareness about blindness and vision impairment.

Local names

Name Language
World Sight Day English
Día Mundial de la Visión Spanish

World Sight Day 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

World Sight Day 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

World Sight Day is a global event that focuses on bringing attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is observed on the second Thursday of October each year.

Looking through eyeglasses at an eye exam chart.World Sight Day raises awareness about blindness and vision impairment, as well as the provision of eye health care . ©iStockphoto.com/Gene Chutka

What do people do?

The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) are actively involved in coordinating events and activities for World Sight Day. Associations such as Lions Clubs International have also been actively involved in promoting the day on an annual basis for many years.
Many communities, associations, and non-government organizations work together with WHO and IAPB to promote the day for the following purposes:

  • To raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment as major international public health issues.
  • To influence governments, particularly health ministers, to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programs.
  • To educate target audiences about blindness prevention, about VISION 2020 and its activities, and to generate support for VISION 2020 program activities.

Some people plant trees to commemorate World Sight Day and while others submit a photo for an international photo montage that focuses on the theme of blindness. Other activities include taking part in awareness-raising walks or distributing and displaying posters, bookmarks, booklets and other forms of information the raise awareness about preventable blindness.

Public life

World Sight Day is a global observance but it is not a nationwide public holiday.

Background

The world’s population is ageing and people are living longer but blindness from chronic conditions is also rising, according to WHO. About 80 percent of the world’s 45 million blind people are aged over 50 years. About 90 percent of blind people live in low-income countries, where older people, especially older women, face barriers to getting the necessary eye health care. Yet, many age-related conditions leading to blindness – such as cataract, refractive error and glaucoma – can be easily and cheaply treated or cured. Timely intervention can often delay or reduce their effects on vision.

Lions Clubs International partnered with blindness prevention organizations worldwide to commemorate the first World Sight Day on October 8, 1998. This event was later integrated into VISION 2020, a global initiative that the IAPB coordinates. This initiative is a joint program between WHO and the IAPB. It involves non-government organizations, and professional associations, as well as eye care institutions and corporations.

World Sight Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Oct 8 1998 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 14 1999 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 12 2000 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 11 2001 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 10 2002 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 9 2003 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 14 2004 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 13 2005 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 12 2006 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 11 2007 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 9 2008 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 8 2009 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 14 2010 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 13 2011 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 11 2012 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 10 2013 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 9 2014 World Sight Day United Nations observance
Thu Oct 8 2015 World Sight Day United Nations observance
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