World Sight Day: Eye Care Everywhere
It was celebrated on 11th October, 2018 with initiatives promoted by IAPB Italy. Together with the Italian Society of Ophthalmology, IAPB Italy invited many ophthalmologists to take action for prevention
The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy promoted a number of events, such as free eye examinations, on World Sight Day, which was celebrated on 11th October 2018 together with the World Health Organization (WHO).
More than half a million informative leaflets on prevention were distributed inside 7,000 ophthalmologist’s offices and 11,000 opticians.
For the first time this year, thanks to a Call to Action promoted by IAPB Italy and the Italian Society of Ophthalmology (SOI), it is possible to book a free eye examination at one of the ophthalmologist’s offices taking part in the initiative, on a first come first served basis (up to 30,000 examinations starting from 11th October, still continuing in November-December 2018 and beyond). The initiative is exclusively reserved for people who have never undergone an eye examination.
Dr. Matteo Piovella, President of SOI and of the “Fondazione Insieme per la Vista Onlus” (Together for Sight Foundation), explains:
Today it is essential to make people aware about their right to be properly treated. A child has the right to safeguard his or her vision by submitting to a complete specialist eye examination performed by a specialist eye doctor who has the possibility of using the most modern technologies to obtain the best results.
On 11 October, IAPB Italy also organized a major conference in Rome, which took place in the Protomoteca room at the city hall of Rome, on Capitoline Hill.
According to the WHO, globally, there are 217 million low vision people and 36 million blind people (for a combined total of 253 million visually impaired people). A staggering 1.2 billion people need glasses and, among other things, myopia is increasing rapidly in the world. This is why it is important for everyone to have access to appropriate eye care. Even in Italy, too many people do not regularly have an eye examination from childhood. The aim of these initiatives is to raise awareness among citizens and institutions regarding the protection of the most important of the five senses: on a global perspective, eight out of ten visual disabilities are avoidable.
The Italian branch of the IAPB has been offering comprehensive information for years to educate the population on the importance of periodic eye tests for early diagnosis, to facilitate access to early care and to grant the opportunities offered by visual rehabilitation to the visually impaired. In particular, IAPB Italy founded – thanks to its President Giuseppe Castronovo – the National Centre of Services and Research for the Prevention of Blindness and Visual Rehabilitation of the Visually Impaired, which is a WHO Collaboration Center at the A. Gemelli Hospital in Rome.
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Published on 17 September 2018. Updated on: 27 November 2018