World Sight Day, celebrated this year on October 13, is an annual day of awareness around blindness and visual impairment.
What is World Sight Day?
The rolling theme for the World Sight Day is ‘Universal Eye Health’. The ‘Call to Action’ this World Sight Day is ‘Stronger Together’. On this day, NGOs, DPOs and civil organisations all come together to raise public awareness of blindness & vision impairment as major international public health issues and also influence Governments and Ministers of Health to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes.
Celebrate World Sight Day with CBM
50 years of combatting cataracts
2016 marks 50 years since CBM’s first cataract surgery. In 1966, New Zealand physician Dr.Howard Harper carried out the first CBM sponsored cataract surgery at the Noor Eye Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since then CBM has carried out over 13 Million cataract operations – in 2015 alone we supported 1262 interventions every single day.
Miracles Day in Australia
Generous Australians have donated nearly AUD$ 900,000 to those who need it most. Miracles Day fundraising will be used to conduct sight saving surgeries including cataract; preventative treatments; buy spectacles and low vision devices as well as train doctors and health staff; eye screening in schools and communities; ensuring the poorest and those with disability are included. (Interesting fact: Through CBM, $32 can fund a 12-minute cataract operation, helping restore sight to someone who would otherwise continue living with blindness.) 26 Christian Radio Stations from around Australia promoted Miracles Day to their listeners. Five radio stations broadcast LIVE after visiting our CBM partner hospital in Vietnam.
CBM Australia’s Director of Fundraising, Heath McSolvin says - “This year marks the tenth anniversary of Miracles Day. It’s been such an honour to see it grow from humble beginnings of one radio station, to a National campaign with 26 Christian Radio Stations involved. Through a lot of hard work, and God’s blessing, we’ve seen ‘Miracles Day’ steadily increase awareness and funds to help people with disabilities living in some of the poorest parts of the world. We’re so thankful for all involved, our radio partners, our staff, volunteers and most importantly our generous supporters.”
Download our reports
CBM NTD Report 2016:
More than 1 billion people – one-sixth of the world’s population – are affected by one or more neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), and another 2 billion people are at risk, mainly in the tropics and sub-tropics. Take a look at our Neglected Tropical Diseases Report 2016 for more information about our work with NTDs.
Inclusive eye health:
‘Inclusion Made Easy in Eye Health Programs’ is designed for program staff in international development organisations. It is a brief, practical guide on how to ensure eye-health programs are disability-inclusive.
CBM Participation in IAPB GA
From 27 to 30 October 2016 CBM will attend the 10th General assembly of the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) in Durban, which will be attended by about 1600 delegates from leading organisations around the world. This meeting is of paramount importance to build partnerships and ensure a unified voice across the eye health sector.
CBM is a sponsor and program partner of the 10th General assembly of the IAPB. Dr.Babar Qureshi (Senior Advisor on Eye Health and Director for NTDs at CBM) and David Lewis (Director of Strategic Programmes at CBM Australia) will be conducting a course ‘Inclusion made easy in Eye Health programmes'.
World Sight Day always serves as a critical reminder of the need for global attention on blindness and vision impairment. These issues are at the heart of CBM’s work worldwide as we seek to prevent and treat avoidable or curable blindness and to improve the quality of life of visually impaired persons in the poorest countries of the world. This years also marks a milestone in CBM, having conducted cataract surgeries now for 50 years, with over 13 million surgeries conducted to date. Our commitment however goes well beyond surgeries alone, as we seek to strengthen eye health systems and services which are high quality, comprehensive and inclusiveDavid Bainbridge, Chief Programme Officer, CBM International