On 14 October 2021, Sightsavers staff, partner organisations and supporters around the world celebrated World Sight Day, to help raise awareness of the importance of access to good eye care.
To mark the event, Sightsavers country offices ran free eye screening services and organised events to raise awareness about sight loss. Many of our corporate partners used their profiles to draw attention to sight and re-confirmed their commitment to ending avoidable blindness.
Our supporters helped to spread the word on social media, and we had the opportunity to do several media interviews, including on Sky News Radio. International DJ Peggy Gou also announced her new partnership with Sightsavers to her 2.2 million followers on Instagram. Here you can read more about how we marked this year’s event.
This annual event raises awareness of the importance of good eye care around the globe.About the day
Sightsavers is one of the organisations benefitting from the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery. On World Sight Day we had the opportunity to do a UK radio day to discuss the partnership, where Sightsavers head of trusts and corporate partnerships Morna Lane spoke on air about how sight-saving treatment can change lives. People’s Postcode Lottery also shared our message on Instagram.
Many of our other partners and supporters, including DIFF Eyewear, Novus, #TOGETHERBAND, MET Studio, Barker Langham, WALDO and Spectrum Markets, used their social media profiles to share messages about the importance of sight and raise awareness of visual impairment. Their ongoing support will ensure more people have access to vital eye care around the world.
South Korean DJ Peggy Gou, who is based in Berlin, chose World Sight Day to announce a new fundraising partnership with Sightsavers, telling her 2.2 million Instagram followers about the importance of children being able to get their eyes checked. Peggy’s eyewear brand, Peggy Goods, said: “We believe that this work is incredibly important, as all kids in the world deserve to achieve their potential and have the same support and opportunities.”
Our team in Senegal accompanied the Ministry of Health and Social Action to promote the national eye health programme and raise awareness of the importance of good eye care in the country. During the day, Sightsavers country director Salimata Boucom took part in media interviews to promote our work.
Untreated eye problems such as cataracts and trachoma continue to affect many people in Mozambique. On World Sight Day, our office in the country helped to run three eye screening clinics: one in an orphanage, one for female prisoners and one for male prisoners, ensuring any patients were able to be referred for treatment where needed.
The Sightsavers team in India organised a workshop for medical board members and district officials to raise awareness about 21 types of disabilities. On the day, they also distributed 312 pairs of glasses to people in need, and referred 29 people for cataract surgery.
Country director Anthony Wani and programme officer Juliet Sentongo visited the newly built eye department in Moroto, in the Karamoja region of the country. During the day, the team in Uganda screened about 200 people for eye conditions. Anthony and Juliet also spoke about the importance of including people with disabilities when designing eye health services, so no one is left behind.
We are grateful that so many people shared a #GlassesSelfie on social media on World Sight Day to help raise awareness of the mission to end avoidable blindness.
To mark the day, Sightsavers also premiered a new video highlighting that around the world, the number of people in need of eye care is increasing dramatically. Unless there is a strong, continued effort to improve eye health services, the number of people who are blind could triple to around 115 million people by 2050. Our video is available in English, French, Italian and Norwegian to support the work of our teams and partners across the globe. You can watch the video below.
In Singida, an inclusive eye health programme has made eye care services more affordable, sustainable and equitable. Here, four people involved with the project share their stories.
In Nigeria and Kenya, two innovative education projects are enabling children with disabilities to reach their potential.
Since 2012, Sightsavers has been using smartphones to collect high-quality data, so that countries can effectively map the disease and focus their elimination efforts.