The World Council of Optometry, along with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, recognizes Thursday, October 10th as World Sight Day. The theme for 2019 is Vision First!
The World Council of Optometry (WCO) represents over 200,000 optometrists in more than 80 countries, with nearly 300 combined Country, Affiliate, Corporate, and Individual Memberships across six world regions—Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Latin America and North America.
The mission of WCO is to facilitate the enhancement and development of eye and vision care worldwide, through advocacy, education, policy development and humanitarian outreach.
Dr. Scott Mundle, President of WCO, encourages everyone to be vigilant in our collective goal of eliminating avoidable blindness. “With the impending crisis of significant levels of high myopia on the horizon, WCO is taking an active role in the management and prevention of myopia and other eye diseases,” said Dr. Mundle. WCO has been working with other organizations, including the IAPB, to further this cause. With the release of the World Health Organization of the World Report on Vision, it is our hope that myopia management, uncorrected refractive error and eye diseases, including cataract, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, will have the global attention they deserve.
Included in the World Report on Vision Report is the recommendation that member WHO nations adopt a Universal Health Coverage strategy to deal with these eye health issues. “We urge governments around the world to act upon this call to action by the World Health Organization,” says Dr. Mundle.
Mr. Paul Folkesson, President-Elect of WCO says “We need to urge regions and country authorities around the globe to act upon the recently published World Report on Vision by WHO. The report points out the enormous effect on civil society due to the number of visually impaired persons. Such a crisis demands a large increase in the number of well-trained eye health professionals of all cadres to ensure access and quality care for the patients. Optometry is educated and is well positioned to take on this challenge for the benefit of eye health globally.”