Health Days 2013

World Sight Day
What is the vision initiative 2020: the right to sight?
"2020 Vision: the Right to sight" is a global initiative, launched by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). It seeks to set programs and plans; to reduce the avoidable blindness by the advent of the 2020. This is in collaboration with the governmental institutions, such as the health ministries; and the governmental and non-governmental associations concerned with treating eye diseases, combating blindness, and rehabilitation of the visually impaired people.
Joining of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was among the earliest countries which signed the support pact of the "2020 Vision: the Right to Sight" initiative in 1422h; corresponding to 2001. As a result of that, a royal decree was issued approving of establishing a national Saudi committee for fighting blindness; in order to boost and put this imitative into force. Thus, the National Prevention of Blindness Committee was set up; in order to mobilize, boost up, and develop all means in order to thwart the avoidable blindness and the visual impairment through depending on the latest that the evidence-based medicine has reached, intensifying training, educating medically, and encouraging the medical researchers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Word Sight Day 2013:
  • The World Sight Day is an awareness day globally observed; during that day the blindness and visual impairment are thrown into the spotlight.
  • It is marked annually on the second day of October.
  • The World Sight Day falls on October 10th, 2013/ Dhu al-Hijjah 5th, 1434h.
  • 2013 is a significant year; that's to say its significance emanates from launching the new global action plan of the World Health Organization (WHO), related to preventing the avoidable blindness and visual impairment. On its sixty-sixth round, the World Health Assembly determined the objective of " the inclusive provision of the eye health care: global action plan 2014-2019" which is to increase the opportunities of providing the eye health care services within health system framework. 
  • To parallel with the principal objective of the new action plan related to thwarting the avoidable blindness and visual impairment, the theme of the World Sight Day 2013 was approved; which is "Universal Eye Health". It embodies many key aspects to guarantee the eye health success. All the more, it was decided that "Universal Eye Health" is to remain the next two years' theme.
  • Every year, an aspect of the approved topic aspects for developing "the call to action"   is to be focused on. For 2013, the "get your eyes tested" call was approved as eye-testing is considered the first check stage and the first step for practically diagnosing and treating each single eye case. Hence, we should urge community to take the initiative of getting their eyes tested to be a strong call of action, and which can come under the various basic domains group whether it is refractive errors, or diabetic retinopathy, or cataract among others.

World Facts:

  • The geographical distribution of the visual impairment spread is uneven.
  • 90% of the visually impaired people live in low and medium income countries.
  • The number of the visually-impaired are estimated in 285 million people, in 2010.
  • 39 million people are afflicted with blindness.
  • 246 million people are visually impaired.
  • The East Mediterranean which includes the gulf states, with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia included, accounts for 12,5% of the world's blindness percentage.
  • 80% of the visually-impaired cases can be avoided (preventable and curable).
  • Cataract (51%) (197 million cases) is one of the principal reasons leading to blindness.
  • Cataract surgery and the refractive errors redress are among the most medical interventions that bear fruit.
  • An uncorrected refractive error (43%) is among the reasons inducing the avoidable blindness.
  • Over 120 million people suffer from the visual impairment caused by the uncorrected refractive errors: short-sightedness, long-sightedness or astigmatism. Those can restore their inborn sight by glasses, contact lens, or the surgical intervention.
  • In the next nine years, it is estimated that the number of the visually-impaired aging fifty years and over will rise in the regions affiliated to the World Health Organization (WHO); namely in China, India, South-East Asia, and Eastern Mediterranean unless the necessary measures are not taken in order to prevent, treat, and address the principal reasons for the visual impairments.
  • Age-related visual impairments and blindness are increasing due to not keeping diabetes under control.
  • Gradual eliminating of the blindness cases resulting from the infectious diseases such as river blindness and blindness-causing trachoma in the countries where they are epidemic, thanks to effective and unprecedented partnership between the public and private sector.
  • The WHO continues its decades-long efforts with its member states and its international partners, in order to get rid of the principal causes of the avoidable blindness through providing the technological support and detection and coordination services. 
  • There are over 1.4 million children afflicted with blindness. And of the key causes of children's blindness are cataract, retinopathy of prematurity, and shortage of vitamin A. further, half of the child-injured blindness cases is avoidable or curable. All the same, a world program, the fruit of an existing partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO) and Lions Clubs International (LCI), provides the eye care services.
  • Every five seconds, a person is afflicted with blindness in the world; and every minute, child experiences blindness. Moreover, it is estimated that seven million people, annually, are injured with blindness. 
  • As close as half a million children lose their sight each year; most of them die before reaching the first year of their life, as a result of diseases associated with blindness; most of them are hereditary .
  • Approximately one third of the blind worldwide are females (60%).
    1. Females outlive males which in turn render them more vulnerable for cataract and visual impairment.
    2. Females are provided less treatment opportunities. 
  • By the advent of 2020, it is estimated that the loss of the global economic product due to the productivity shortage, resulting from the visual impairment and blindness, will surpass RS a thousand billion each year.


Idea of the World Sight Day theme:
 The idea of the World Sight Day theme revolves around writing through Braille system; it is a world method to teach the blind. Braille writing system draws on a cell made up of sic basic dots: three on the right; and three on the left. And of these six dots, all letters are shaped to form words. Further, each Braille-system written letter is formed through the jutting of some dots in the cell made up of six dots unlike its likes; to shape, in such a way, a letter. This enables the blind to read through touching. As regards the dots in the World Sight Day theme, they represent three letters; they are "W", "S", and "D". They are the initials of "the World Sight Day" in Braille writing system.

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Last Update : 01 October 2013 09:58 AM
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