CBM Celebrates World Sight Day 2019

A girl from Indonesia wears special glasses to calculate an eyeglasses prescription.

Zakiah from Jakarta, Indonesia has her eyes examined for low vision. ©CBM/Fauzan Ijazah
©CBM/Fauzan Ijazah

World Sight Day focuses global attention on blindness and vision impairment. This year, World Sight Day falls on 10 October, and for this annual awareness day, we would like to highlight some of CBM’s more recent contributions to the field of inclusive eye health care.

Our work in neglected tropical diseases

CBM’s latest neglected tropical disease report “Every Single Person Counts” outlines significant process made toward the goal of eliminating avoidable blindness.

Working to eradicate a defined set of neglected tropical diseases, over time CBM has supported over 150,000 surgeries and more than 20 million treatments of azithromycin as well as more than 150 million treatments of Mectizan® to combat blinding trachoma and onchocerciasis (river blindness), respectively.

Making eye health services inclusive

CBM’s inclusive eye health strategy aims to make all CBM-supported eye health programmes available and welcoming to all members of the community and to meet the needs of people with untreatable vision impairment and blindness, for example through rehabilitation services.

Accessing eye health services can be challenging for people living in low- and middle-income countries for a number of reasons such as cost, distance or lack of awareness that services exist. To address this, CBM has partnered with Peek Vision to use smartphone-based technology in eye screenings performed by non-specialists. Screenings take place in schools and local health centres, thus bringing eye health services to a much larger number of people.

CBM, together with Sightsavers, recently ran a free, interactive workshop for other organisations working in the eye health field, to strengthen inclusion and equity in eye health. You can read learnings from this workshop here.

Contributing to global advocacy

CBM works closely with the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, a global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness.

CBM contributed technical input to the WHO’s first World Report on Vision, launched ahead of World Sight Day 2019. The World Report on Vision is to generate greater awareness, political will and investment in eye care around the world. The report sets out concrete recommendations to address key challenges. Find out about CBM’s contribution to this report here.

Through its partners, CBM also advocated for the inclusion of eye health within the UN’s political declaration on universal health coverage, which was adopted at the 74th General Assembly this year.

A CBM campaign raising awareness in Indonesia

Using the momentum of World Sight Day, CBM and its partner LAYAK Foundation are running a campaign in Indonesia to boost public awareness about eye health. The campaign uses various media such as internet, radio and on-ground activities. The campaign conveys messages and information relating to child eye health. 

CBM envisages an estimated 1 million people in Indonesia will be sensitized on the importance of eye care. For more information, visit www.Eyestandbyu.com and engage others by speading the message with #EyeStandbyU on social media.

Celebrate with us!

On this World Sight Day, you can choose to learn more about the challenges in eye care by reading the WHO’s World Report on Vision. You can help us raise awareness of avoidable blindness and the need for inclusion in eye health services by spreading the word. Or, you can support inclusive eye health programmes by CBM and our partners by donating.

With your help we can remove access barriers to reach all persons who need services and work towards the elimination of avoidable blindness.

Follow the conversation on twitter with the hashtags: #VisionFirst #WorldSightDay #UniversalEyeHealth