NEW YORK— As the fight against
vision loss and visual impairment continues worldwide, the World Sight
Day initiative made its mark this year on Oct. 10, 2013 to turn the
world’s attention to its mission: preventing avoidable blindness.
World Sight Day 2013 began its
countdown on Sept. 1 with the kickoff of the World Sight Day Challenge
organized by Optometry Giving Sight (OGS), one of World Sight Day’s
principal organizers. Originally coordinated by the International Agency
for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) under the VISION 2020 Global
Initiative, World Sight Day again garnered the support of optical
companies, eye health organizations and eyecare practices worldwide,
with celebrations occurring in over 300 events in 60 countries around
the world. According to IAPB, World Sight Day collaborators now include
over 120 organizations, with every major eye health organization and
global eye health professional association contributing to the cause.
|A patient of VSP Global’s mobile clinic, Jeanene, happily upgraded from “dollar store readers” to her first bifocal prescription.
“There were many creative
activities, some that will continue throughout the Challenge and the end
of October and even to the end of the year,” said an OGS spokesperson.
According to OGS, more than 800 eyecare practices across North America
participated in World Sight Day, with support coming in from domestic
and international networks such as Vision Source, Eyecare Plus,
Provision, FYi Doctors, OSI, FOPN and Federottica.
A major component of the Challenge
was the World Sight Day Coalition, consisting of 13 companies who
showed continued support for the campaign by raising awareness of the
importance of eye health and the expansion of access to eyecare. On this
year’s World Sight Day, the Coalition and partnering local optometrists
provided free eyecare to 4,000 Atlanta residents in need onboard the
VSP Mobile Eyes clinics, and a check for $570,000 was presented to OGS
in support of their efforts.
||IAPB’s World Sight Day 2013 fundraising materials drove home this year’s specific message: Get Your Eyes Tested.|
The Coalition includes ABB Optical
Group, Alcon, AllAboutVision, CooperVision, Essilor, Eyefinity, Marchon
Eyewear, TLC Laser Centers, Transitions Optical, Vistakon of Johnson
& Johnson Vision Care Inc., Vision Source, VSP Optics Group and VSP
Other companies involved include
A&A Optical, Alden Labs, Art Optical, Bard Optical, Carl Zeiss
Vision, ClearVision Optical, Contamac, DAC Vision, Demandforce, Europa
International, Gas Permeable Lens Institute, Hoya, ICU Eyewear, IVI
Vision, Morel Eyewear, Optos, Primary Care Optometry News, Reed
Exhibitions, REM, RevolutionEHR, RX Optical, Sauflon, Scotiabank, Signet
Armorlite, Tom’s Eyewear, Viva International, WestGroupe, Williams
Group and Zyloware Eyewear.
|A check for $570,000 was presented to OGS in support of their efforts at the VSP Mobile Eyes Clinic in Atlanta, Ga.
“The passion and commitment in
support of the shared mission of eliminating avoidable blindness and
impaired vision this World Sight Day exceeds any show of participation
in the past seven years the Challenge has been organized,” said Clive
Miller, global CEO, OGS.
Further highlights of this year’s
World Sight Day efforts included the Company Challenge, in which 50
companies participated in fundraising efforts, with CooperVision
reaching $40,000 at press time; the Student Challenge, which involved
nearly all optometry schools in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Europe
and Australia; and Alcon’s “Kids Celebration of Sight Program,” which
paired screening activities among primary school children in Texas and
India and held local events in Australia and the U.K. ■