Together with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, CBM calls on the public to take time to care for their eyes. CBM asks governments and institutions to take action to ensure that eye care is accessible, inclusive and affordable to everyone everywhere.
World Sight Day, with its theme "Love Your Eyes", is the perfect opportunity to encourage everyone to take responsibility for their own eye health. Many millions of people around the world currently lack access to effective eye care services. World Sight Day serves as a reminder of this fact.
CBM is committed to ensuring that eye care is available to everyone, everywhere, as part of universal health coverage.
World Sight Day is an international awareness day that takes place on the second Thursday of October each year - this year it falls on 13 October.
This day is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), an umbrella organisation of which CBM has long been a member. It is an opportunity to draw the world's attention to the importance of eye health for everyone everywhere.
"CBM is working hard in more than thirty countries to make this a reality. We have strengthened many of our projects by using new technologies. We pushed ahead with the training of much-needed ophthalmologists. We started to deliver large-scale programmes in Pakistan and Kenya," says Dr Babar Qureshi, Director of the Inclusive Eye Health Initiative at CBM.
Leaving No One Behind in Eye Care
People centred eye care
1.1 billion people around the world have visual impairments simply because they do not have access to the eye care they need. Yet taking care of our eyes is critical because eye health impacts education, employment, quality of life and poverty. People-centred eye care can advance many of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). These include SDG 3 on good health and well-being, SDG 4 on quality education and SDG 10, which calls for reducing inequalities.
The 17 SDGs are a call to action to address a range of global challenges including poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation and justice.
However, halfway through the SDG timeline, progress has been slowed by COVID -19 and a mix of economic, climate and geopolitical crises.
World Sight Day is a good reminder to get back on track and continue to demand the inclusion of eye health in global policy developments, hold governments accountable and support members to advocate for the implementation of inclusive, person-centred eye care and the inclusion of eye health in regional and national policies.
"CBM is determined to continue its collaboration so that people do not have to suffer from visual impairment without receiving the care they need," says Qureshi.