October 13th was World Sight Day. In honor of this day the Ely Lions Club gathered used glasses to be reused or recycled.

Thanks to members of our community, we were able to collect nearly 50 pairs of glasses. So far this year we have donated almost 200 pairs of glasses to help those in need. We’d like to thank all those that participated.

World Sight Day is an important advocacy and communications event on the eye health calendar. It is a great time to engage with a wider audience – a patient’s family, those who seldom get an eye exam, diabetics – and showcase why eye health needs everybody’s attention.

This year’s call to action: Stronger Together IAPB (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness) urges you to focus on all the stakeholders who are important for successful delivery eye care. Think of all the groups of people who engage with eye care: ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmic nurses, donors, patients, carers, the wider family. Clearly, our successes are made possible by the fact that we work together, and so, what can be a better theme for our continued success?

The more groups we bring together–the diabetic community, the irreparably blind, vulnerable groups, including those with other disabilities–the stronger we become.

On World Sight Day, IAPB members work together to:

•Raise public awareness of blindness & vision impairment as major international public health issues

•Influence Governments/Ministers of Health to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes

•Educate target audiences about blindness prevention,  about VISION 2020 and to generate support for VISION 2020 programme activities International Key Messages

•Approximately 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness

•Of these, 39 million people are blind and 246 million have moderate or severe visual impairment

•90% of blind people live in low-income countries

•Yet 80% of visual impairment is avoidable – i.e. readily treatable and/or preventable

•Restorations of sight, and blindness prevention strategies are among the most cost-effective interventions in health care

•The number of people blind from infectious causes has greatly reduced in the past 20 years

•An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired

•About 65 % of all people who are visually impaired are aged 50 and older, while this age group comprises only 20% of the world’s population

•Increasing elderly populations in many countries mean that more people will be at risk of age-related visual impairment.