World Sight Day 2019: An Orbis Screening In Panchgani

World Sight Day: All Eyes On 2020

October 2019

Thursday October 10th is World Sight Day, one of the most important days in the eye health calendar - a day to come together and celebrate the achievements of the eye health community and raise awareness of the important issues on the horizon.

This World Sight Day we’re asking the Orbis community to get ready for 2020 – a huge year in the global eye health calendar.

Slideshow: Tackling global blindness in the lead up to 2020

Next year will mark the end of Vision 2020, a global project of the World Health Organization and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness to reduce avoidable blindness.

When the project was launched just over 20 years ago, the number of blind people worldwide – then 45 million – was expected to double by 2020. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of the global eye health community the number of avoidably blind people fell by 20% to 36 million.

Despite this progress, experts have predicted that global blindness and vision impairment are set to triple by 2050, due to the world’s aging population and an increase in blindness causing conditions like diabetes.

This tripling would result in 115 million people living with blindness and another 588 million with moderate or severe vision loss.

“As 2020 approaches, we have much progress to celebrate, but if we are to prevent the looming crisis, we cannot rest on our laurels. We have to take what we’ve learned over the past two decades and use it to make our future efforts laser-focused on what we know will preserve vision for the greatest number of people.”

Bob Ranck

President & CEO of Orbis International

World Sight Day 2019: a screening in Gondar, Ethiopia

World Sight Day 2019: we must act now in the build up to 2020

The solution is three-fold:

  • Training: upskilling eye health teams to improve the quality of care available around the world.
  • Technology: Using the latest technological advancements in VR, AI and telemedicine to scale up our efforts and reach more people than ever before.
  • Collaboration: Only by working together will we be able to confront this blindness crisis.
World Sight Day 2019: using tech to reach more people than ever

By investing in technology we can reach more people than ever before

“We know what needs to be done to avert the looming vision crisis, but it can’t be accomplished alone. The achievements made over the past twenty years prove that there is strength in numbers, and collaboration will be key as we continue our fight against avoidable blindness.

Danny Haddad,

M.D, Chief of Program at Orbis International

Here at Orbis we strongly believe that a crisis is not our fate. We can look to the future with hope instead, but we must act now in the build-up to 2020.

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