October 8th is one of the days marked on our calendar. We celebrate World Sight Day, one of the most important events on the ocular calendar. The objective of this day is to make the population aware of the different types of visual conditions that exist today and their treatment, as well as the way to avoid them so that the patient does not lose the ability to see.
World Sight Day in numbers*
. At least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment that may or may not be addressed.
. Of those, at least 1 billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.
. In addition, 2.6 billion people have myopia, including 312 million children under 19 years of age.
. Additionally, millions of people are living with eye conditions that increase their risk of sight loss:
- 196 million people living with age-related macular degeneration
- 146 million people living with diabetic retinopathy
- 76 million people living with glaucoma
- 2.5 million people living with trachomatous trichiasis
- 277 million people living with high myopia
. Vast inequities exist in the distribution of vision impairment; the prevalence in many low- and middle-income regions is estimated to be four times higher than in high-income regions.
. The burden tends to be greater in rural areas and for older people, women, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and indigenous populations.
*Data obtained from the world organization IAPB (The International Agency for the preservation of Blindness).
Futur goals #HopeInSight
This is why it is vital that we work together to find solutions that ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to eye solutions. These should be our goals:
. Raise public awareness of blindness & vision impairment as major international public health issues.
. Influence Governments/Ministers of Health to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes.
. Educate target audiences about blindness prevention.
Today, more than ever, we must join forces and work as a team to promote healthy eye habits.