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Eye Care Everywhere: World Sight Day Challenge 2018

Optometry Giving Sight has called on members of the eye health community to support its annual global campaign: the World Sight Day Challenge, on Thursday 11 October.

Money raised from the campaign, which is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and supported by eye health organisations around the world, will help fund projects that give sight and hope to more than 1 million children in 2018. This year’s call to action is: Eye Care Everywhere.

STAGGERING STATISTICS

The statistics behind a lack of eye care and its effects are the reason the World Sight Day Challenge exists. Sixty per cent of children in the developing world, who are blind, die within the first year.1 Over a billion people cannot see because they do not have access to eye care.2

“As it is estimated that as much as 80 per cent of what a child learns is processed through the visual system, an eye examination and glasses can mean the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity,” said Dr. Juan Carlos Aragon, Global Chair of Optometry Giving Sight. “A child’s ability to play and learn and to contribute at home and school is largely dependent on good vision. I encourage you to join our World Sight Day Challenge and fundraise to give the gift of vision.”

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Every year thousands of optometrists, their staff, patients, students and colleagues in the industry take the World Sight Day Challenge by making a tax-deductible donation and/or by raising funds in their practice, school or company.

Last year, Tasmania’s Total EyeCare was one of many that participated and fundraised for the Challenge. The practice hosted a trivia night to raise funds and according to team member Caitlyn Williams, it was a positive experience. “Total Eyecare has a long history of community involvement. It was wonderful to highlight the good work that Optometry Giving Sight does. The team really enjoyed coming together and trying to exceed our 2016 total, it was hard work but it was worth it.”

ELIMINATE PREVENTABLE BLINDNESS

The goal of the World Sight Day Challenge fundraising campaign is to ensure that no one is left without their sight.

Funds support children like 14 year old Cambodian student Sokhanya, who, having lost her glasses, cried for days. She was aware that without her glasses, her parents would need to walk her to school in case she tripped on the uneven roads. Additionally, she realised that pursuing her favourite studies – art and language – would be impossible without good vision.

Fortunately for Sokhanya, a free eye screening service came to her school, funded by Optometry Giving Sight. After receiving an eye exam and a new pair of glasses, she was able to walk alone to school, learn, and enjoy the company of her friends again. Her dream now is to become a nurse to help others.

OPTOMETRY GIVING SIGHT

Optometry Giving Sight is the only global fundraising initiative that specifically targets the prevention of blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error (URE) – simply the need for an eye examination and glasses.

In addition to projects that train people in developing countries to become degree and diploma qualified optometrists, Optometry Giving Sight funds projects that increase access to vision care for children. Here’s how donations can help in developing countries:

  • AU$1,000 – Help provide glasses for 200 children or text books for 10 optometry students
  • $2,000 – Clinical equipment kit to provide outreach services or help provide glasses for 400 children $3,000 – Upskill clinical staff to provide eye examinations for children or provide a scholarship for an Instrument Technician Course
  • $4,000 – Train 100 teachers to conduct child eye health screenings or purchase specialty equipment to set up a paediatric clinic in an optometry school
  • $5,000 – Sponsor a school eye health screening for 2,000 children or purchase equipment to upgrade a Vision Centre or purchase equipment to help set up a clinical teaching space in an optometry school
  • $10,000 – Purchase equipment to set up a clinical eye health examination room. To donate, or pledge your participation by selecting a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Award level, visit: givingsight.org/giving/ world-sight-day-challenge.html

References available at mivision.com.au