Today is World Sight Day
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
WORLD Sight Day this year falls today, October 9, as one of the worldwide initiatives to raise public awareness on blindness and vision impairment, which is one of the major international public health issues.
Observed annually worldwide on the second Thursday of October, the theme this year is continuum of their rolling theme which is “Universal Eye Health” with the ‘Call to Action’ being “No More Avoidable Blindness”.
This year also marks the first year of the WHO Global Action Plan (GAP) which is a commitment endorsed by all WHO member states to improve eye health for everyone over the next five years. It is a significantly important strategic document to replace the previous VISION 2020 and 2009-2013 Action Plans for eye health as a global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness.
According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), there are approximately 285 million people in the world who live with low vision and blindness.
Due to medical advancements and technology, 80 per cent (four out of every five cases) of visual impairment is avoidable, where they are readily treatable and/or preventable. As a result, the number of people blind from infectious causes has greatly reduced in the past 20 years.
Meanwhile, the Brunei Darussalam National Association of the Blind (BDNAB) is the sole association in the country that addresses issues related to blind and visually-impaired individuals. Founded in January 2001, the association also seeks to work for equality and full participation in society by the blind and partially sighted in the country.
The President of BDNAB Jamary Danggat said: “Hopefully we will be celebrating in the coming month to observe this year’s World Sight Day. We are currently still organising meetings for the preparations. Among the activities lined up are Yassin, Tahlil and Doa Kesyukuran (thanksgiving) events.”
Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) Brunei, which is the champion for its charity flagship initiative “Seeing is Believing”, is expected to organise a charity auction to raise funds for the cause. SCB will also be engaging with the elderly at the senior citizen day-care centre in Lambak to commemorate this year’s World Sight Day.
In a press statement, Lai Pei-Si, Chief Executive Officer of SCB Brunei said, “For Standard Chartered here in Brunei, this presents an opportunity for us to reiterate our focus on the local community.
The Brunei Times