World Sight Day Activities Report

Nigeria also celebrated World Sight Day this year with free eye screenings and spectacle programs in Calabar and capital city, Abuja. In Tanzania

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Nigeria also celebrated World Sight Day this year with free eye screenings and spectacle programs in Calabar and capital city, Abuja.

In Tanzania this year a team from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare visited vision centres across the nation to promote eye health awareness. Simultaneous Outreach Camps in Bariadi and celebratory screening and exhibitions in Dar Es Salaam were also organised.

Ashanti Vision, Ghana, carried out free vision screening activities for the local community to mark World Sight Day 2013.

On World Sight Day, at Farafenni, the Gambia, OneSight, an independent nonprofit providing access to quality eye care and eyewear in underserved communities worldwide, served more than 30 patients at its OneSight Vision Center.

In Durban, South Africa, the Brien Holden Vision Institute set up an eye clinic along the vibrant North Beach promenade, and togethyouer with the KZN Department of Health, tested the eyes of 280 people; including beach vendors, local community members and players from the Dolphins cricket and Amazulu football team. 126 glasses were given to those who needed them. “We are very grateful to the Sharks, Dolphins and Amazulu players who joined us today and agreed to be blindfolded, while throwing balls around,” said Professor Naidoo. “It really helped to spread the message! More than 13 million South Africans require vision correction, but accessing the small amount of optometrists working in the public sector can be a challenge,” he explained.

In Mtubatuba, South Africa, 43 OneSight volunteers served 700 patients. OneSight is an independent nonprofit providing access to quality eye care and eyewear in underserved communities worldwide.

Eastern Mediterranean

The Kingdom of Bahrain, represented by the Saudi-Bahraini Institute for the Blind, celebrated World Sight Day on 10th October. The Kingdom of Bahrain also celebrated White Cane Day 15th October.

The Director of the Saudi-Bahraini Institute for the Blind, Mr. Abdulwahid Mohammed Al-Khayyat, said the celebration of both occasions this year comes under the slogan: (Healthy Eyesight for Everybody) which reflects the diligence of the Kingdom and its leadership vis-à-vis members of the community who have special needs and the blind. On this occasion, Mr. Al-Khayyat expressed his gratitude and appreciation to all public and private institutions, banks, national companies, dignitaries, for their support to the activities of the Institute. He also thanked all Ministry of Education officials, led by H.E. Dr. Majid bin Ali Al-Nuaimi and ministry undersecretaries, assistant undersecretaries, departmental directors and school principals for their contribution which ensured the success of merging blind students in mainstream education.

The Farabi Eye Hospital, Iran, organised a stall at the National Children’s week exhibition, which coincided with WSD, to talk about eye health issues and blindness prevention to children and their parents. The stall had puppets, balloons, brooches, posters, statements of special education for children and parents. The hospital also organised a seminar on the epidemiology of eye injuries.

In Iran, Fars optometry association celebrated World Sight Day in which the optometrists, representatives of charity institutions which are active in low-vision and blind affairs, health teachers at schools and media reporters took part. This was the second World Sight Day celebration held in Shiraz. In the celebration, member optometrists presented lectures on eye health, laws for supporting low-vision and blind people in Iran and the FOA authorities reported on the Association's performance in the area of preventing vision problems marked WSD in Shiraz, capital of Fars province, Iran.

A video clip about preventing blindness directed by a member optometrist was screened and educational pamphlets about eye health were distributed among guests.

In line with purposes of World Sight Day and to give awareness to people, the FOA distributed pamphlets about eye health to guests participating in a walking program held by Shiraz Municipality Cultural Organization in Chamran Blvd.

Iraq’s programme to combat blindness celebrated World Sight Day this year with celebrations held in primary and secondary schools and women-consultants that provide services of Ophthalmology, and the examiners sight in health centres initiative to examine the sight of all the attendees. Seminars were held and visits to institutions, orphanages and seniors and giving gifts with a vision screening and a visit to the institutions of civil society to talk about this today.

In Pakistan, the Minister of Health, Mr Yousafzai was the chief guest at an event organised at Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) for ‘World Sight Day’.

He said 500 doctors, 600 paramedical staff and 300 technicians have been appointed in hospitals. Yousafzai added the government’s first priority is to establish basic health units in undeveloped areas of the province so that people have easy access to medical treatment.

HMC Chief Executive Dr Muhammad Tahir Khan said ‘World Sight Day’ is observed every year on October 10. The slogan for this year’s event is ‘Get your eyes tested’.

The Brien Holden Vision Institute launched the National Eye Health Awareness Campaign and a “Vision Carnival” in Sohawa and will give communities and schools access to eye health screenings providing eye care education, spectacles and follow-up management to hundreds.

In Tunisia, Nadi Al Bassar wrote to the Ministry of Health, the Tunisian Ophthalmic Societies and other sub specialty Societies, private sector, public sector and University Hospital to highlight the importance of WSD a month in advance. The organisation also encouraged private hospitals to open their doors to poor patients and offer services, including cataract surgeries, free of charge.

At its Headquarters elderly persons were examined, offered glasses and some of them had free cataract surgery. In collaboration with Lions Clubs International Foundation, a Nadi Al Bassar team visited “El Alia Center for the Handicapped Children” and many of them received glasses or free cataract surgery.

In Gafsa Governorate 90 cataract surgeries were performed and in Sidi Bouzid Governorate 50 patients were operated for cataract.

For WSD, the national television channel in Tunisia broadcasted a special programme on Nadi Al Bassar’s activities and a discussion on the Prevention of Blindness situation in Tunisia.

The famous Tunisian movie actress Hend Sabri and the very popular singer Lotfi Bouchnak also recorded video messages highlighting the importance of Vision and encouraging people to get their eyes tested.

Oman celebrated WHO’s announcement that it had succeeded in eliminating trachoma on World Sight Day with an official event at the Hotel Grand Muscat on 7th November 2013. The event was attended by officials from the Omani ministry of health, along with other dignitaries and eye care professionals.

In Rustaq, Governorate of South Batinah, the Department of Ophthalmology, Rustaq Hospital in association with Oman Ophthalmic Society conducted a symposium on ocular surface disorders to mark WSD13 on 31 October 2013.


In Armenia, the Country Director of the Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP), Dr. Nune Yeghizaryan and the coordinator of USAID/AECP program Center of Excellence for Prevention of Childhood Blindness, Dr. Ruzanna Harutyunyan briefed the media on the theme and idea behind World Sight Day. They presented successful case studies of sight restoration and care provided by the team and also used the day to organize eye screenings for disabled children at “Nor Astgh” NGO. Of the 38 screened children, 19 were identified with vision problems; eight of them learned about their problems for the first time. AECP, in partnership with Aurora Barealisse branding company, issued a poster with the theme “Get Your Eyes Tested.” It was disseminated online, as well as installed in medical centers of remote regions or Armenia.

In the Czech Republic, Alcon held a promotional event in shopping centers and provided exams and consultations to more than 1,000 visitors. 60% of attendees were interested in treatment possibilities, such as refractive laser surgery, cataract surgery, contact lenses. While 20% were interested in glaucoma awareness, dry eye, allergies and other ocular issues.

In Italy, IAPB Italia marked World Sight Day in 68 cities by organising free vision screening for children. The event, in collaboration with the Italian Blind Union also marked distribution of brochures highlighting the importance of getting one’s eyes tested.

In Halifax, UK, Mackereth Opticians raised £500 for Optometry Giving Sight by taking part in World Sight Day. The donation represents the equivalent of providing 166 eye tests and spectacles for people in the developing world.

To mark the annual challenge, the Halifax-based independent hosted a raffle and bake sale in the practice on October 10. In addition, staff at the practice swam the equivalent length of Lake Windermere by completing a combined 920 lengths of the local pool.

The Morpeth Lions Club held its annual street collection. This year there were two elements to the collection as the Lions collected cash, donations and also previously loved spectacles.

The collection date this year coincided with Lions Club International World Sight Day. In view of this, the Lions decided the cash collection would be in support of three local sight related organisations — Northumberland County Blind Association, Morpeth Partially Sighted (MAPS) and Morpeth Talking Newspaper (MTN). The club has had long associations with these groups and has in-depth knowledge of the fantastic work they do in the area.

Several Lions Clubs in the UK are recycling old spectacles, which are first sorted and refurbished, before being sent to a collection point in France for lens identification prior to shipment to developing countries. The Lions ‘Spectacle Amnesty’ was a huge success, with almost 500 pairs of spectacles being donated at the collection point in Sanderson Arcade.

In addition to the spectacles, a total of £872 was collected during the Morpeth Street Collection.

Colleagues and friends from Santro+Peche Opticians in London’s Chiswick recently took part in a charity skydive to raise money for this year’s World Sight Day Challenge. The Flight for Sight dive has raised £4,627 so far for Optometry Giving Sight, just short of the £5,000 target. Sponsors included Nikon Optical UK, Santro+Peche Opticians, John de Carle Opticians, Maui Jim Sunglasses, Imran Hakim, Ali Mearza, Lindberg, the Corniche Group and i-G0 Optical.

In the United Kingdom, Alcon collected donations for Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day challenge raising £2,045. Activities included a Bake sale, a WSDC Run, a 33-mile run by one Alcon associate, starting from the London Eye to the Alcon offices at Watchmoor Park. The associate, Ivor Lipscomb, was an experienced runner, but recently recovered from a hip fracture following a bike accident. 30 other associates ran on a treadmill – “Running a Mile for Better Sight”.

Latin America

In Argentina the Ministry of Health officially marked World Sight Day. To this end, the national health portfolio promoted activities seeking the prevention, early detection and treatment of eye diseases such as cataract, glaucoma, retinopathies and refractive services. It also trained health workers across the country, equipped regional hospitals and health centers, and delivered specific pharmaceuticals and glasses.

Vision Solidaria Foundation, Chaco, offered free eye care in the Gotas de Amor Foundation for the control of refractive errors (glasses prescriptions). 94 patients were treated and 64 prescriptions for glasses were delivered.

In Rosario, Argentina, an agreement between the Rotary International and the local government was signed to finance 200 cataract surgeries for the uninsured adult population. The prevention of blindness awareness through mass media was also empathized. The following week a screening for the detection of diabetic retinopathy was carried out.

The Swiss Medical Group measured eye pressure free of charge throughout the World Sight Day at its office in the city of Buenos Aires. Also, through its press office, they participated in the numerous interviews for
print and television media.

The Medical Institute Lisandro de la Torre,

Villa María, Córdoba treated 90 patients within the framework of the free eye care campaign by World Sight Day.

The Hugo D. Nano Ophthalmological Foundation started the month of October with

a Training Course provided by the Pharmacists Association of San Miguel. World Sight Day was highlighted during the course. The weekend of October 5, 150 special education and rehabilitation teachers were convened. They were trained in the prevention of blindness. They also participated in the Diabetic Retinopathy campaign of the Argentine Council of Ophthalmology on October 25th, which provided free care. From 16 to 18 October
they visited schools under the program "See
to learn", which has been going on for over 18 years. Finally on October 10, an athenaeum was carried out, where the importance of World Sight Day was highlighted.

The Argentine Council of Ophthalmology participated in 39 different news stories in different media around the country.

In Bolivia, the following media organisations covered World Sight Day:

  • LA RAZÓN: Cataract and glaucoma are the most common eye diseases in Bolivia. During the World Sight Day, free ophthalmology consultations will be provided

  • EL DIARIO - The Eye Health Committee will become effective

  • EL DIARIO - 150,000 students will benefit from the eye care campaign.

  • PAGINA SIETE They are more prone to irritations, allergies and conjunctivitis: In the highlands, 4 out of 10 children have sight problems. The World Health Organization pointed out that 80% of these conditions could be prevented. Today, a walk to raise awareness on these issues will be carried out.

  • LA PRENSA Printed Edition. IN BOLIVIA, 400,000 PEOPLE HAVE SIGHT PROBLEMS - WALK for EYE HEALTH DAY By Central Newsroom – LA PRENSA - 10/10/2013

  • BOLIVIA EN TUS MANOS portal- The Eye Health and Blindness Prevention Committee will become effective.

In Campinas, Brazil, the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Campinas UNICAMP, gave a seminar about the World Sight Day in the Legislative Municipal House, it was open to the public and also broadcasted through the Legislature channel. The topics discussed were blindness worldwide, cataract blindness in Brazil and improving people’s access to eye care through the SUS public health system. .

The seminar was presented by Jose Paulo Cabral de Vasconcelos M.D., Denise Fornazari de Oliveira M.D. and Carlos E L Arieta M.D.

The Altino Ventura Foundation celebrated World Sight Day through various activities for the prevention of blindness and visual rehabilitation.

A multidisciplinary team made up of ophthalmologists, ENT specialists, neurologists and therapists screened 270 children from public schools in the state of Recife during 10 days looking for cases of low vision, blindness or other deficiencies.

170 children of the Nursery Nossa Senhora dos Remédios and 100 students of the municipal school Hugo Gerdal in Recife benefited of this service. The multidisciplinary team of the Visual and Multiple Disabilities Rehabilitation Center Menina dos Olhos of the Foundation Altino Ventura treated children from 0 to 16 years. Patients selected by social workers underwent multidisciplinary medical assessment by doctors, educational psychologists, psychologists, speech therapists and other therapists. Patients and their companions participated in other socio educational and motivational activities and talks about the importance of sight and its integration to other body systems to promote a better quality of life.

In the interior of Pernambuco, other teams of ophthalmologists treated 700 patients over 50 years of age through the mobile clinic units, most of them disadvantaged people. The Mobile Surgical Unit performed 90 cataract surgeries in the town of Triunfo in the framework of the Caravana da Visão Project. Triunfo is located 400km / 250 miles from Recife.

In Chile, World Sight Day was promoted through a national statement provided by the Chilean Society of Ophthalmology. It was broadcasted through mass media (TV station and other media). Finally, an activity related to support programs for visually impaired students took place at the University of Concepción.

The Chilean Society of Ophthalmology invited its members to:

  • Participate in newspaper interviews in media spaces

  • Contact and deliver information to Directors of Hospitals or Care Centers and Local Authorities letting them know of this celebration, with the purpose of disseminating the information to all colleagues through the media and web pages.

  • Clear waiting lists of patients with diseases that cause blindness. Perform refraction and screening of blind patients and visually impaired patients.

  • Discuss the causes of blindness, its prevention and treatment with patients examined in public services, private practices, clinics etc.

  • Organize educational talks.

  • Organize social activities, meetings and dinners, etc.

In Colombia, The Colombia Foundation For The Visually Impaired with the support of CBM provided free consultations for 20 patients and held a conference on the topic of Blindness Prevention for patients and families of the Foundation during World Sight Day.

The Eye Clinic of Cali conducted a public awareness campaign to celebrate World Sight Day.

Posters were printed and posted in billboards since September. This poster was also the cover of the brochure delivered in the clinic to patients who attended consultations during that week, as well as the relatives, suppliers, health quality forum attendants, among others. Children who were accompanying patients were examined in the pediatric ophthalmology consulting room.

A general talk about lifestyles and eyesight, with emphasis on cataract was provided to employees of the clinic.

The Eye Surgery Society, committed to the promotion and education for the management of low vision, carried out a brigade with the town and nearby villages inhabitants, managing to perform cataract, pterygium and retina surgeries, at no cost to patients. Additionally, further ophthalmologic and optometric exams were performed in more than 100 people who had started the Day at 7:00 am with a Low Vision Conference, with the objective of providing care, prevention and good management information for post surgical patients and low vision patients.

The fourth zone in San Cristobal celebrated on November 15 the commemoration of disability. A cultural event was held during the recreation day. Refreshments were shared afterward.

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