EYECARE: A Greater Vision Associations Set Their Sights on World Sight Day 2013 By Catherine Wolinski Thursday, October 17, 2013 3:01 PM RELATED CONTENT World Sight Day 2013: A Call to Action Answered by the Optical Community Worldwide World Sight Day 2013 – the Coalition, Companies and Contributors International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and the World Health Organization (WHO) IAPB promotes VISION 2020: The Right to Sight, the joint initiative with the World Health Organization (WHO) for the elimination of avoidable blindness by the year 2020. World Sight Day was created as part of the Vision 2020 Global Initiative and now celebrates the campaign alongside many associations around the world. In time for World Sight Day this year, IAPB released a new report, the WSD 2013 report on Universal Eye Health sponsored by Optometry Giving Sight and Alcon, which was launched in a series of advocacy events in regional events in Manila, Philippines; Thimpu, Bhutan; Kigali, Rwanda; London/Hungary, Europe; Washington DC, USA and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Vision 2020 national bodies also passed the report onto their partners in government and other stakeholders. 2013 also marks the launch of the WHO Action Plan on the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment 2014-19, and to promote the plan, the organizations dubbed the World Sight Day 2013 theme “Universal Eye Health.” IAPB's World Sight Day support also includes activities across the globe and the distribution of promotional materials such as posters, bookmarks, reports and advocacy material free of charge. More information is available at www.IAPB.org. IAPB’s World Sight Day 2013 fundraising materials drove home this year’s specific message: Get Your Eyes Tested. World Council of Optometry (WCO) The World Council of Optometry has 90 member associations from over 45 countries across six world regions: Africa; North America; Asia Pacific; Europe; Latin America; and the Eastern Mediterranean. WCO collectively represents over 200,000 optometrists worldwide, and its members and partners held events in various regions to raise awareness of uncorrected refractive errors and spread the message that the first simple step towards diagnosis and treatment for many eye conditions is an eye exam. The Trinidad & Tobago Optometrists Association featured the national premiere of Joseph Lovett’s 81 minute acclaimed film, inspired by his own agonizing battle with glaucoma, “Going Blind: Coming Out of the Dark About Vision Loss”. This was followed by a panel discussion between the audience and various community leaders caring for the sight of the people in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region. In the city of Makati in the Philippines vision screening training programs (VSTP) were undertaken at 3 national high schools to help identify students with poor visual activity and refractive errors and free prescription glasses were dispensed to students from low income backgrounds. Also, in the USA, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Norway and Italy, WCO members contributed to the success of World Sight Day Challenge, the fundraising initiative of Optometry Giving Sight (OGS). Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) OGS coordinates the World Sight Day Challenge (WSDC), the major fundraising campaign associated with World Sight Day designed to raise funds for projects that provide training, establish vision centers and deliver eyecare services for people who are blind or vision impaired due to uncorrected refractive error. This year, OGS coordinated thousands of optometrists, opticians, students, practice staff, patients, companies and company staff in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK, Norway, Italy, Germany and Denmark, all raising funds and awareness in the name of Optometry Giving Sight and the World Sight Day Challenge. OGS provided WSDC participants with press releases, a newsletter story, images and copy for use on Facebook pages, materials such as posters and stickers, and T-shirts for purchase to aid in fundraising campaigns.