World Sight Day 2013

Image of World Sight Day 2013 poster

World Sight Day (WSD) is an international day of awareness, held annually on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

WSD is co-ordinated by The International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) under the VISION 2020 Global Initiative. In 2003, the Irish government committed to the objectives of this initiative, which aims to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020.

Earlier this year Fighting Blindness, as part of the National Coalition for Vision Health, launched the document ‘Framework to Adopt a Strategic Approach for Vision Health in Ireland’ and met with TD’s calling on the government to implement recommendations which focus on eye health in Ireland, specifically the elimination of avoidable blindness, in line with the Vision 2020 initiative.


Get Your Eyes Tested

The theme of World Sight Day 2013 (WSD13) is Universal Eye Health. This theme is in keeping with the World Health Organisation’s Action Plan for the Prevention of Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment for 2014-2019. The call to action for 2013 is ‘Get your eyes tested’.

Fighting Blindness works to empower people to take positive steps towards looking after their vision health. More than half of all sight loss is avoidable if the cause is caught early. A regular eye test can identify any early indications of diseases such as cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration. An eye test can also identify other problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure for which the eye care professional can refer you back to a GP. We recommended that people have an eye test every two years – which is free to anyone under 16 or over 60 – but research shows that one in four of us fail to do this.


The National Coalition for Vision Health in Ireland is a multi stakeholder group created by Fighting Blindness and the National Council for the Blind in Ireland along with healthcare professionals, patient representatives and people working in vision-related advocacy and healthcare. To download a copy of the Framework to Adopt a Strategic Approach for Vision Health in Ireland, please click here.