FOUR in five blind people are needlessly blind.

Today (October 13), on World Sight Day, there is a spotlight on preventable blindness and visual impairment.

World Sight Day is an annual international day of awareness held by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) on the second Thursday of October to focus attention on the global issue of avoidable blindness and visual impairment.

About 285 million people worldwide live with low vision and blindness. Of these 29 million people are blind and 246 million have moderate or severe visual impairment.

But 80 per cent of visual impairment is avoidable – it’s readily treatable or preventable.

In its fourth year, the call to action for World Sight Day is ‘Stronger Together’.

IAPB members will work together to raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment, influence governments to designate funds for national blindness prevention programmes and educate target audiences about blindness prevent and VISION 2020, and to generate support for VISION 2020 programme activities.

IAPB has challenged amateur and professional photographers around the world to highlight the impact of eye health on people’s lives by taking part in an international photography competition with the theme ‘Stronger Together’. People can send their pictures with the hashtag #StrongerTogether

For more information, visit www.iapb.org

Pic caption: Photo entry into the Stronger Together photo competition of a man helping a visually impaired man play the Cambodian xylophone. Photo: Kimlong Meng