World Sight Day is the most important advocacy and communications event on the eye health calendar.
It is a great time to engage with the world at large – a patient’s family, those who seldom get an eye exam, diabetics. This year, let us ensure that we pay attention to eye care issues that impact lives everywhere, both developed and developing economies. What’s the first thing you can do? Plan for an eye examination. Look around in your family, especially for those who are vulnerable: young, school-going children, the elderly, those with diabetes.
World Sight Day 2017 will be on 12 October 2017. This year’s call to action:
Make Vision Count
Remember, 4 out of 5—80%–of the world’s blind are avoidably so. What can be done to arrest this unconscionable fact? First, arm yourself with your country’s prevalence data and Eye Health system information–the number of trained eye health personnel, your country’s plans to tackle blindness. As they say, knowledge is power. On World Sight Day, IAPB will be launching the latest data (2015) on the prevalence of avoidable blindness and visual impairment along with the main causes. We will also have projections up to the year 2020.
This World Sight Day, let’s get the numbers out, so we know where we stand.
Key decision makers, policymakers, government officials, patients, partners/donors and the wider health community (referral networks like diabetes groups, for example) can be invited to participate in our WSD celebrations. Remind them about what they can do to address vision issues in the community, and make them take a public commitment on World Sight Day! Better still, recognise (small or large) acts of support from these stakeholders and celebrate them on World Sight Day. More than 70 WHO Member States now observe and promote World Sight Day (with WHO support) through the provision of critical evidence, strategic communications and infographics.
Areas of Focus
Irrespective of your area of focus this World Sight Day – cataract, glaucoma, diabetes, eye care management – ‘Make Vision Count’ works. You can use it to reach out to new groups within your work-area, or to highlight support or funding that has helped you deliver quality eye care services.
IAPB is focusing all efforts on promoting the hashtag #MakeVisionCount this year. It will also be used to promote and tag the photo competition entries (see above). We invite you to join us in promoting this hashtag in the run-up to World Sight Day. Do add your messages and information along with the hashtag. Need help? Let us know…. via social media or e-mail.
WSD Promotional material
Like every year, IAPB has a great pack of promotional material that can be used as part of your WSD campaign. We will be producing posters, ribbons, balloons and an implementation pack in colourful and interesting designs