Kenya joins the world in celebrating World Sight Day

Kenya joins the world in celebrating World Sight Day
Photo: Courtesy

World Sight Day is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on vision impairment, including blindness. For this year, the second Thursday, today fell on 13th October. This year’s theme is focusing on the world’s attention on the importance of eye care.​

Image: Courtesy

According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, if you are an individual, you can pledge to get your sight tested or pledge to take better care of your eyes. If you are an eye care professional or organisation, you can pledge all the tests you carry out in the month leading up to World Sight Day.​

“We are calling on the sector to join us to help people prioritise their own eye health and leaders to ensure eye care is accessible, inclusive and affordable to everyone, everywhere,” states part of the call-to-action message from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

The World Health Organization’s World Report on Vision and the UN Resolution on Vision have cemented eye health as critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are calling on our global partners and members to help show the world how important it is to Love Your Eyes," ​reads part of the call-to-action statement from the IAPB.

“From pledging to help reach our five million sight test goal to asking your networks and ambassadors to post selfies in #LoveYourEyes heart glasses, you are reminding everyone to take care of their eyes.”

In July 2022, as part of the ABP, Novartis, a global healthcare company based in Switzerland that provides solutions to address the evolving needs of patients worldwide, and The Fred Hollows Foundation launched the Integrated Eye Health Program for blindness prevention in Kenya. Aiming to improve access to eye health services for the most vulnerable and marginalized communities, the program focuses on glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and cataract. For 2022, the partnership’s ambitious goal is to have over 400 000 community members educated in eye health and approximately 40 000 patients screened.

According to the WHO, globally, at least 1 billion people have near or distance vision impairment that could be prevented or has yet to be addressed. Vision impairment affects people of all ages, with the majority being over the age of 50. Vision impairment and blindness can have major and long-lasting effects on all aspects of life, including daily personal activities, interacting with the community, school and work opportunities and the ability to access public services.