Today, Thursday 13th October 2011, sees World Sight Day 2011, an international day of awareness for the project VISION 2020: The Right To Sight. The day itself is planned to highlight global eye sight issues and vision impairment.
The vision awareness event is set for the second Thursday in October every year, and so we welcome it in today. With no global theme for the event, organisers hope that each and every company or organisation will attempt to raise awareness in their own individual areas of priority across the world. The hope is that each participant will be able to highlight issues they see from day to day to their target audiences.
According to VISION 2020: The Right To Sight, it is estimated that a staggering 284 million people, worldwide, have some form of visual impairment. The sadder statistic is that as much as 80% of this number have eye sight conditions and issues that can be prevented, treated or cured. This leads on to the fact that 90% of blind people live in developing countries where finance, technology and poverty play enormous factors in this number. It is a sad state of affairs that so many families and communities are affected in this way every year, when treatments are available on the market, but for one reason or another are not accessible by those that need them.
Statistics accumulated courtesy of vision2020.org:
According to WHO estimates:
- 286 million people are visually impaired
- Of these, 39 million are blind, and 246 million have moderate or severe visual impairment
YET 80% of blindness is avoidable
- 90% of people with visual impairments live in developing countries
- Almost 65% of visually impaired people are over 50 years of age
- 19 million children are visually impaired