THIS World Sight Day (Thursday 8th October), Sightsavers is asking people to raise their glasses to eye care and celebrate what a simple pair of glasses enables them to do. Our message is simple – everyone, everywhere, needs access to eye care.
Sightsavers is sharing sight stories from around the world about the difference a pair of glasses can make, and asking others to share their #SightStories too – what one thing has your glasses allowed you to do this World Sight Day?
Over a quarter of the World’s population (2.2 billion) has a visual impairment, but at least one billion cases are preventable. For example, more than 800 million people have an unaddressed refractive error, such as short or long-sightedness, which causes blurred vision and if left untreated has a huge impact on the person’s quality of life. This could all be corrected with access to a low-tech solution – a pair of glasses.
Iain Jones, global eye health advisor from Sightsavers, said:
“We are calling on the UK to ‘raise their glasses’ to eye health this World Sight Day. Most of us in the UK are able to get a pair of glasses when we need it but imagine what life would be like if you couldn’t.
“We have programmes that include ensuring truck drivers in India have the glasses they need to avoid crashing on the road, and that children can have the glasses they need to see the blackboard.”
Accessing eye health care systems in developing countries, especially in rural areas, is still a major problem for millions of people worldwide. In many developing countries, eye health services are still not yet integrated into the health system and the cost of a pair of glasses is too much for many to afford.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult and expensive to access eye care. It has meant that many people across the world have not received sight-saving treatments they need, and the number of people who could go blind is estimated to rise to 115 million by 2050. This year, more than ever, it is vital we recognise and celebrate how important sight is.
So why not join a host of celebrities, supporters and Sightsavers staff on social media, and raise your glasses to mark this day! Share your #SightStory with us.
Sightsavers, a leading eye charity, works in more than 30 countries, to ensure everyone can access the eye care they need, whether it’s diagnosis, surgery, glasses, medication or support.