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World Sight Day 2013

A young boy wearing pink sunglasses and holding a toy, smiling happily, with his mother looking proudly at him
© CBM
Sokah, from Cambodia, and his mother. Read his story below...

On October 10th CBM joins our global partners in celebrating World Sight Day, and takes this opportunity to present its new ‘Inclusion Made Easy in Eye Health Programs’ guide.

Universal Eye Health

A manual cover, with text 'Inclusion made easy in eye health programs' ©CBM
World Sight Day (WSD) is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday of October, to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment. The 2013 theme is 'Universal Eye Health'.

This theme comes from the focus of a new WHO Action Plan on the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment, as explained by the The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).

Following the theme CBM takes this opportunity to present its new ‘Inclusion Made Easy in Eye Health Programs’ guide, which aims to reduce barriers to accessing eye health services for people with disabilities. The guide is co-branded with 16 other leading eye health and disability agencies.

About disability-inclusive eye health

‘Disability-inclusive eye health’  is an approach adopted by CBM and other leading agencies, which seeks to ensure access, best quality outcomes and long term improved quality of life for all eye patients and people with vision impairment. The approach builds on and captures innovation from CBM partners and others working in eye health and disability inclusion  around the world.

Why should eye health programs be disability inclusive?

  • Over a billion people (about 15% of the world's population) live with some form of disability
  • Lower-income countries have a higher prevalence of disability than higher-income countries
  • People with a disability experience more barriers to accessing health services than people without a disability
Source: WHO - www.who.int/features/factfiles/disability/en/

More facts and figures on global blindness and low vision

  • Approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness
  • Of these, 39 million people are blind and 246 million have moderate or severe visual impairment
  • 90% of blind people live in low-income countries
  • Yet 80% of visual impairment is avoidable - i.e. readily treatable and/or preventable
  • Restorations of sight, and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care
  • The number of people blind from infectious causes has greatly reduced in the past 20 years
  • An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired
  • About 65 % of all people who are visually impaired are aged 50 and older, while this age group comprises only 20% of the world's population
  • Increasing elderly populations in many countries mean that more people will be at risk of age-related visual impairment
Source: IAPB

Developing affordable and accessible eye care services worldwide

Since the 1960s, CBM has played a key role in developing affordable and accessible eye care services in all regions of the world. CBM has achieved this by working closely with dedicated field partners and in close co-operation with other international eye-care organisations and national governments.

Since 1999, Vision 2020 ‘The Right to Sight’, has led to outstanding global momentum and innovation in tackling avoidable blindness and seeking improved outcomes for people with vision impairment. The governments of 195 countries have signed up to Vision 2020. As a result of this activity, projections for the number of people blind by the year 2020 have plummeted from around 76 million to just 24 million.

CBM continues to play a major role in the innovative Vision 2020 agenda.

Useful links

Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals" Thumbnail for video "Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals"

Highlights of 2nd T20 World Cup for blind 2017 finals

The highlights of T20 World Cup for the blind finals held at Chinnaswamy Stadium Bengaluru, India

Important resource

Professor Allen Foster, OBE

Press release


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