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World Sight Day

This annual event, held each year in October, aims to raise awareness of visual impairment across the globe. Learn how we’re doing our part by saving sight and changing lives.

Mafoune wearing glasses while reading with her fatherr.

Across the world, 36 million people are blind. This figure could rise to 115 million by 2050.

But 75 per cent of sight loss can be cured or prevented.

World Sight Day raises awareness of visual impairments and calls on the international community to work to eliminate avoidable blindness. The global event first took place in 2000: this year it falls on 11 October 2018 and the theme is #EyeCareEverywhere, to draw attention to the issues involved in accessing eye care across the world.

It’s thought that 89 per cent of people with visual impairments live in low and middle income countries, where it can be hard to see a doctor or be treated. About 1.2 billion people need spectacles but cannot get them.

Sightsavers works in more than 30 countries to ensure everyone can access the eye care they need, whether it’s diagnosis, surgery, glasses, medication or support.

(Main image: ©Sightsavers/USAID/Javier Acebal)

Volunteer community distributor Mamadou Samine from Senegal smiles broadly while holding an umbrella.

What we’re doing

Sightsavers aims to prevent avoidable blindness and save the sight of the some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

More about our work

Find out more about how we see

Our eyes

How we’re helping to save sight worldwide

Treating cataracts

Zamurrad’s life ground to a halt when she developed cataracts, but a straightforward operation restored her sight.
Read Zamurrad’s story

Fighting disease

In May 2018, Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma, saving sight and changing lives.
Meet some of the people we helped

Essential eye screenings

Poor eyesight affects almost half of India’s truck drivers, so we carry out eye screenings and provide glasses to those who need them.
Learn how we support the truckers

Disability rights

In Pakistan, our Right to Health programme is making sure people with disabilities aren’t excluded from eye health care.
More about the programme

Local volunteers

Okello Charles from Uganda volunteered to become a fly catcher, helping to eliminate the flies that spread river blindness.
Read Okello’s story

Reaching everybody

Our inclusive healthcare approach made sure Augusto, who had both cataracts and trachoma, got the treatment he needed.
Read Augusto's story

Learn more about our eye health work

Protecting sight