OPC’s Vision for World Sight Day 2020

World Sight Day 2020

Today is World Sight Day, one of the most important dates of the year in the eye health calendar.

World Sight Day is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) under the VISION 2020 Global Initiative, which has made a huge difference to global eye health

Every year, World Sight Day raises public awareness on the human right to sight, the issues surrounding blindness and visual impairment, and the need for proper access to eye health care. Ultimately, the goal is to influence governments and ministries of health to participate in and fund blindness prevention programs

Hope in Sight

World Sight Day 2020

Currently, 2.2 billion people are visually impaired, and among them 1 billion suffer from a visual impairment that could have been prevented or has not yet been addressed. And this costs the global economy $3 trillion each year. Unbelievable, right?  Eye conditions left untreated cause complications, preventing people from reaching their full potential and breaking the cycle of poverty. 

This year World Sight Day’s theme is “Hope in Sight’’. At the Organization for the Prevention of Blindness (French acronym: OPC), we believe it is critical to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to quality eye care, because sight is key to personal empowerment and global sustainable development.  

Ensuring the Right to Sight

Since 1978, OPC is working relentlessly to provide local research and care for vulnerable people affected by blindness and blinding diseases in Francophone Africa. In 2019, 7.7M people have benefitted from medical treatments provided through OPC’s programs to preserve sight and fight poverty (comprehensive eye care, neglected tropical diseases and school eye health programs).

But we’re also committed to protecting sight before anything happens, particularly for children. Globally, 312 million children under 19 years old have myopia, which potentially has serious consequences on their futures, simply because they cannot see faraway objects, like reading lessons on the chalkboard. That’s why we recently launched #FORESIGHT, a new initiative to deliver comprehensive eye care in schools in 17 African countries in some of the most overlooked communities in the world.  

Through this program, we:

  • Ensure more children stay in school and continue their education by implementing fully inclusive child-centered eye care services in schools. 
  • Enable more children to have access to eye health services, by maintaining comprehensive eye health facilities in their communities, that can carry out interventions such as eye exams, treatments, surgeries, and provide glasses.
  • Strengthen national school health programs by sustainably adapting specific environments for their given needs, including a wide range of glasses at different costs or the “free of charge” option for the children who need it the most. 

In the end, we help children and their communities envision a better future. Universal eye health is possible, and an eye exam is the first step. #FORESIGHT is OPC’s enduring commitment to this year’s theme, “Hope in Sight”.

Read what Aminata, Idrissa’s mother, from Bamako, Mali told OPC about what a difference an eye exam and a pair of glasses makes:

“The school called me on my mobile. The teacher wanted to know if I would agree to pay a reasonable fee so that Idrissa, my son, can benefit from a pair of spectacles. I was agreeably surprised, and I said yes of course! I now better understand the difficulties I have noticed in helping him review his lessons and I hope they will now disappear. It really takes to small things to fail. […] I am very happy that this school health program reaches out to all the children so as to include everyone with no revenue discrimination. It’s great, thank you to all who came here to take care of the children. Thank you!”

Every day, you help us set new standards for eye care in Francophone Africa. Without your support, we would not be able to accomplish all that we have. When you make a gift to OPC, you invest in Africa’s future by empowering people through sight. 

Please donate today in honor of World Sight Day! You can also raise awareness and show your support on Facebook , and subscribe to our newsletter to receive inspiring stories and updates about our impact!

Please donate today in honor of World Sight Day! You can also raise awareness and show your support on Facebook , and subscribe to our newsletter to receive inspiring stories and updates about our impact!