World Sight Day: we can eliminate 80% of blindness
Once a year, on the second Thursday of October, World Sight Day is celebrated to raise
awareness of the 36 million people who are blind and the 217 million people that are visually impaired worldwide.
80 per cent of the blindness and vision loss are curable or preventable. That means four out of five of the visually
impaired loss their sight needlessly. That’s why Standard Chartered has committed to raising USD 100 million by 2020
through Seeing is Believing – its global initiative, run in partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of
Blindness (IAPB) – to fund leading eye health organisations to deliver projects that train doctors and health workers,
develop eye care infrastructure and support services to the poor.
Since 2003, Seeing is Believing has invested over USD95 million in projects reaching 150 million people through work
to restore sight, prevent blindness and educate communities about the importance of eye care. Over 4 million people
have had their sight restored by surgeries supported by Seeing is Believing.
According to the Vision Loss Expert Group, the global prevalence of visual impairment has dropped from 4.58 per cent
in 1990 to 3.38 per cent in 2015. The decline indicates that the collective efforts of medical professionals, civil society
organisations, governments and corporations, including Seeing is Believing, are leading to meaningful change across
Shazad Dada, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan, said: “There is a lot that needs to be done to
eliminate avoidable blindness. Individual organisations like Standard Chartered are a pivotal part of the solution to
help tackle avoidable blindness. We hope that through Seeing is Believing, we can raise awareness of the issue in our
country. That’s why across the globe, we’ll be celebrating World Sight Day.”