WORLD Sight Day 2019 was acknowledged on Thursday October 10th under the theme “Universal Eye Health” and the call to action “Vision First”. World Sight Day is an international event coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The goal of this day is to raise awareness of the fact that approximately 75% of blindness and vision impairment is avoidable and to encourage all necessary institutions to play an active role in supporting universal access to eye health.
World Sight Day has been an official IAPB event since 2000 and together with the World Health Organization (WHO) the ‘Vision 2020’ initiative was launched, whose aim is to eliminate avoidable blindness globally by the year 2020. Imagine a world where nobody is needlessly blind or visually impaired, and those with unavoidable vision loss can achieve their full potential; this is the target of Vision 2020. Since the implementation of Vision 2020, there have been several Global Action Plans, with the latest being “Universal Eye Health” from 2014 – 2019. This is a global plan to achieve reduced prevalence of avoidable visual impairment by 25% by 2019, which is a more realistic target than complete elimination by 2020.
In 2015, 253 million people were reported either blind or visually impaired. However, since 1990 to 2015 there has been a 1.21 % decrease in the prevalence of these eye conditions, from 4.58% to 3.37%. It is important to know that the vast majority of vision impaired people, approximately 89%, live in low or middle income countries and approximately 55% of those affected are women.
Optipharm Eye Centre and the One Good Deed Foundation are committed to the work in preventing, correcting, improving and treating vision impairments. It is also their desire that blindness and vision impairment be prevented once avoidable.
A statement from the Optipharm Eye Centre and the One Good Deed Foundation on the eve of World Sight Day read, “We have been doing our part, by participating in World Sight Day for several years, through education, promoting awareness, free vision screenings and health fairs. These activities have been a part of the annual calendar of all our regional offices and we continue to seek to educate the public so no one has to live without seeing tomorrow once it can be prevented.”
“We encourage the general public to have their annual eye examinations and diagnostic tests done, wear protective, preventive and corrective lenses as prescribed by your ophthalmologist, take medication as prescribed and know your family’s optical history. There are several eye diseases that can be traced through family history, it is important to let your doctor know and do the necessary tests early. Optipharm Eye Centre offers many services, including refraction testing for spectacles, diagnostic testing for glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and other conditions. We also offer sun and computer eyewear and clinical and surgical services. Make your sight your top priority, as we recognize World Sight Day; join us in the fight for your vision.”
Don’t delay! Proper sight today can become vision impairment tomorrow if you don’t protect your eye health. The Optipharm Eye Centre offers telemedicine services, which are a mobile based app, allowing customers to consult with them in their time of need, including situations of disease outbreaks.
Consultant Ophthalmologist (Eye Specialist) Dr Benet C. Henry is always ready to take care of you. Visit Optipharm Eye Centre on 11 MaryAnn Street Castries and Clarke Street Vieux Fort or visit their website www.optipharminc.com to book your appointment.