Today is World Sight Day

World Sight Day is a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

Page last updated: 09 October 2014

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9 October 2014

Today is World Sight Day, a joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

World Sight Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of eye health and how to prevent vision impairment and blindness.

This year’s theme for the day is ‘Universal Eye Health’ with a call to action for “No More Avoidable Blindness”.

Health Minister Peter Dutton said the Australian Government strongly supported efforts to prevent avoidable blindness and visual impairment, both nationally and internationally.

“The Australian Government recognises the importance of improving eye care and preventing avoidable blindness and visual impairment,” Mr Dutton said.

“Vision impairment and vision loss impact significantly on the individual and on the community. Early detection and treatment are the keys to preventing blindness and vision loss.”

Australia co-sponsored the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan on eye health approved in May 2013. The global action plan aims to reduce the prevalence of avoidable vision impairment globally by 25 per cent by 2019 compared to the 2010 baseline.

To improve the evidence base on vision impairment, in June 2014 the Australian Government provided more than $1.1 million to Vision 2020 Australia to develop a national eye health survey.

“This survey will provide important data to inform future activity in the area of Indigenous and non-Indigenous eye health. It’s a key priority for the eye health sector and will provide baseline data to assist the Australian Government to meet our WHO reporting obligations under the Global Action Plan,” Mr Dutton said.

Last month, Mr Dutton approved the Australian Government’s Implementation Plan for the National Eye Health Framework. The Implementation Plan focusses on actions within the Health portfolio, but also seeks to build on existing eye health care services and programmes and improve coordination of effort.

“This plan will inform the Government’s efforts to achieve progress against both the National Framework and the WHO global and regional action plans,” Mr Dutton said.

For more information, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

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