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.
According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB):
- Approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness.
- Of these, 39 million people are blind and 246 million have a moderate or severe visual impairment.
- 90% of blind people live in low-income countries.
- 80% of visual impairment is avoidable, being readily treatable and/or preventable.
- Restorations of sight, and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in healthcare.
- The number of people blind from infectious causes has greatly decreased 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.