World Sight Day (WSD) is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment. The theme of World Sight Day 2019 (WSD19) is: Universal Eye Health.

The theme is in keeping with the WHO’s Action Plan focuses on Vision First.

Did you know:

  • 36 million people are blind.
  • 217 million people have moderate or severe distance vision impairment (MSVL).
  • Of those with blindness and MSVI, 124 million people have uncorrected refractive errors and 65 million have cataracts—more than 75% of all blindness and MSVI is avoidable.
  • 1 billion people have near-vision impairment.
  • The prevalence of blindness and vision impairment combined has dropped from 4.58% in 1990 to 3.37% in 2015.
  • 89% of vision impaired people live in low and middle-income countries.
  • 55% of moderate or severely vision impaired people are women.
  • Top causes of visual impairment: refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Top causes of blindness: cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.
  • The number of people visually impaired from infectious diseases has greatly reduced in the last 20 years.
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