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World Sight Day 2013

This World Sight Day we reflect on the millions of the people who will lose their eyesight due to lack of access to affordable healthcare and need to choose between seeing a doctor, knowing they are experiencing symptoms of blindness, or paying for food or rent. Millions of people have never even had a basic eye exam as there are few ophthalmologists or optometrists in rural regions in the developing nations. We also reflect on the millions of men
and women living with imperfect eyesight who struggle to live with dignity as equals in their communities while being denied access to healthcare, education or employment. 
 
The World Blind Union works to empower people who live with different degrees of vision impairment, from being fully blind to having low vision. There are many diseases that bring about sight loss and many of these are preventable or avoidable with timely medical intervention and access to affordable healthcare. 
 
We were pleased with the release of the WHO’s draft action plan for the prevention of avoidable blindness and visual impairment 2014 – 2019. This document is on our website under Publications.
 
The WHO hopes to make significant measures to decrease the number of people who become blind each year.  Implementation of the WHO plan will mean less people may become blind, keeping the goals of Vision 2020 on schedule. This year’s WSD theme is Eye Health for All. For those men and women whose blindness cannot be reversed or cured, we still need access to healthcare education and employment. Ministries of Health need to work with organizations of and for blind people in order not to neglect those men and women whose sight has failed and need to learn how to cope with sight loss through rehabilitation and access to technical aids to improve their ability to access information and society.
 
For more information visit our website www.worldblindunion.org, or contact:
 
Marianne McQuillan,
Manager, Fund Development & Communications
416-486-9698
Twitter: @BlindUnion


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