As the world marks World Sight Day, 12 October 2023, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) focuses global attention on the importance of prioritizing eye health in the workplace as part of this year’s Love Your Eyes campaign.
IAPB, which leads World Sight Day, has recorded over 13 million pledges from individuals and organizations to love their eyes, which smashed the 10 million pledge target and is over double the number pledged last year. The pledges are leading to greater public awareness of the importance of taking care of your own eye health.
As the global alliance for eye health, IAPB has asked its almost 200 member organizations spanning 100 countries to host sight screenings in workplaces, helping to engage employers and their staff in the importance of caring for your eyes at work.
The day has been celebrated globally, with events and workplace screenings being held in offices, at trucker stops, and for security workers and street cleaners from Nepal to New York.
In addition to these global celebrations, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh, Global Ambassador for the IAPB, is currently visiting Ethiopia to celebrate the transformative work of the international eye care charity Orbis and participate in national World Sight Day festivities on 12th October.
The focus on eye health in the workplace follows the release of a report by The International Labour Organization (ILO) and IAPB that stresses the importance of protecting workers’ eyesight. According to Eye Health and the World of Work, eye health significantly affects labor markets, with workers with vision impairment being 30 percent less likely to be employed compared to those without.
This year’s Love Your Eyes at Work campaign and World Sight Day celebrations call on employers everywhere to do more to protect the eye health of workers globally.
“We know that eye health has a profound impact on the wellbeing, productivity, and safety of employees, and this World Sight Day, we are committed to reinforcing the importance of eye health in the workplace. The Love Your Eyes at Work campaign and World Sight Day celebrations act as a timely reminder to us all of the vital role our eyes can play in helping us reach our full potential at work and beyond,” said Peter Holland CEO of IAPB.
“In a world where, for many, equitable access to eye care remains a distant reality, pledging to ‘Love Your Eyes’ and hosting workplace vision screenings act as a powerful form of advocacy. The more than 13 million who have embraced their commitment and the dozens of organizations who have screened workers globally are standing as champions for more than a billion people worldwide who lack adequate access to eye care. Their action is a resounding call for change, amplifying the importance of making eye care a global priority,” added Holland.
To coincide with World Sight Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has, this week, announced the release of ‘WHOEyes’, an innovative health app that guides users through a series of prompts to assess their own eye health.
Speaking about the app, Stuart Keel, Technical Officer, Vision and Eye Care Programme, said “The WHOeyes app is a perfect complement to World Sight Day activities happening globally. The app, much like the Love Your Eyes campaign, promotes proactive eye care which is a vital step towards addressing the huge unmet vision needs on a global scale.”
IAPB is the overarching alliance for the global eye health sector, with more than 200 organisations in over 100 countries working together for a world where everyone has universal access to eye care. IAPB believes in a world in which no one is needlessly visually impaired, where everyone has access to the best possible standard of eye health; and where those with irreparable sight loss achieve their full potential. Our key priorities are global advocacy, campaigning on a different level, connecting knowledge and strengthening the network.
About World Sight Day
World Sight Day is coordinated by IAPB and is an annual day of awareness, held on the second Thursday of October. It is an opportunity to focus the world’s attention on eye care. World Sight Day 2023 will be held on Thursday 12 October 2023. For further information about promoting eye health in the workplace, and to join activities for this year’s World Sight Day – “Love Your Eyes at Work” visit the IAPB website.
About Love Your Eyes
The Love Your Eyes campaign was launched as part of World Sight Day 2021, it is a year-round campaign to raise the profile of eye health, encouraging the public to take care of their own eye health and raise the profile of the 1.1billion people worldwide who have eye health conditions and do not have access to treatment.
About World Sight Day Global Partners
World Sight Day is supported by IAPB World Sight Day Partners, including Abbvie, Bayer, CBM, Horizon, Hoya, Johnson & Johnson Vision, National Vision, Novartis, Roche and Seva Foundation.
About the World Health Organization
WHO is the United Nations agency that connects nations, partners and people to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable – so everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health.
About the International Labour Organization
The International Labour Organization is the United Nations agency for the world of work. We bring together governments, employers, and workers to drive a human-centered approach to the future of work through employment creation, rights at work, social protection, and social dialogue.