On Thursday 8 October 2020, the World Blind Union (WBU) joins the rest of the world in observing World Sight Day. World Sight Day is the main advocacy event for raising awareness about blindness and vision impairment – The Right To Sight – and is observed annually on the second Thursday of October.
This year, the “Call to Action“ for World Sight Day is: Hope in Sight. We call on governments to take a proactive approach to ensure adequate, accessible, and affordable health care for all, in their quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 3 which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. Governments must provide comprehensive and equitable eye care services for all, with emphasis on vulnerable groups.
In addition, we urge governments to honour their commitment to Article 25 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which mandates States Parties to ensure that persons with disabilities are afforded equal, affordable, accessible, quality health care without discrimination.
As we examine data and evidence and projections into the future, an ageing world population, myopia and diabetic retinopathy are set to increase cases of vision impairment in the coming decades. We urge individuals to get their eyes tested regularly and encourage their family members, friends, etc. to do the same.
We also urge our members to work with Health Ministries/Departments, as well as health service providers, on how to guarantee and regulate evolving tele-health services to be more accessible and equitable.