Sight is might! We know you are thinking in your head that we have gotten the proverb wrong. But trust us! There is nothing more tragic than losing the ability to appreciate the magnificence of our beautiful world. This realization is so exclusive to the victims of the blindness that there arose a need for dedicating a day to the sense of sight! Yes, that’s right, we are talking about a world sight day! An event celebrated on a global level, world sight day is all about raising awareness about blindness and vision impairment. In today’s discussion, we are going to bring into prominence, certain key facts which clearly illustrate the need for such an event. Apart from discussing its significance on a global level, we will also highlight the importance that this day has for Pakistan, a country that needs to get its act together immediately if it wishes to avert a visual impairment crisis. Got lots to discuss, we better get going!
Numbers that matter!
According to the international agency for the prevention of blindness[i], nearly 300 million people in the world suffer from impaired vision and blindness. It is pertinent to mention here that 90% of the blind population of the world hails from low-income countries, like India, Pakistan, and other countries from the Asian region. These numbers are reflective of the negligence with which the crisis of blindness is dealt in the aforementioned countries. What is even more lamentable is the fact that almost 80% of these cases could be avoided/treated but are not because of factors like poverty and illiteracy.
World sight day
World sight day is not just some fancy event where people show up, speeches are made and then the topic is completely forgotten till the next year. It is the very opposite of what you are thinking! This day is celebrated to raise awareness and draw attention towards the social and economic issues which are the leading reasons for increasing cases of visual impairment worldwide. It is because of events like these that a considerable decline has been observed in the blindness numbers on a global level. However, the good work has only begun, a lot needs to be done before the beast of blindness can be tamed worldwide.
Pakistan’s inextricable link between poverty & blindness!
We have mentioned it already that poverty is one of the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment. In countries like Pakistan, the prevalence of complete blindness in poverty struck areas is almost thrice that of posh areas. It is a matter of common observation! And one doesn’t need to be a super genius to decode this link. From being nutritionally deprived at a young age to becoming a victim of all the possible ocular irritants by the time adulthood strikes, the underprivileged section of our society is always vulnerable to eye issues and maladies. Treatment that could avert complete blindness is well out of reach of the poor, consequently, the visual loss numbers are significantly higher in these areas.
Common eye issues in Pakistan
At this point in the discussion, you must be wondering about the nature of eye issues the Pakistani population suffers from. Well, commonly reported eye issues in Pakistan include cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, trachoma, and certain other age-related pathologies. The incidence of refraction disorders and presbyopia is also quite alarmingly high. Anyone suffering from one or more of these eye issues is at risk of near-loss vision, mild loss vision, moderate vision loss, severe vision loss, monocular vision loss, and of course, complete blindness. [ii]
World sight day 2021
We hope that by now, you have realized the importance of world sight day with special reference to the Pakistani population. The next question that you must ask is: when is world sight day celebrated? The answer is every second Thursday of October. Going by that convention, can you guess when is world sight day 2021 going to be? 14th October is the right answer! Some wonderful slogans like the right to sight tell us, how passionately, the day is celebrated and cheered by leading NGOs and INGOs worldwide. It might be a joint step of the World Health Organization and IAPB, but more and more organizations are coming forward and playing their part in the fight against loss of sight. However, there is one organization that doesn’t limit its activities to just a day but helps the eye patients around all year. And that organization is Transparent Hands!
Transparent Hands: A key figure in Pakistan’s battle against cataracts
Cataracts are not the only issue that Transparent Hands deals with. Transparent Hands is the largest technological platform for crowdfunding in the healthcare sector of Pakistan. It offers a complete range of free healthcare services including medical and surgical treatments, medical camps, and telehealth facilities to the underprivileged community of Pakistan. The platform provides visibility to underprivileged patients and builds a personal and trusted bond between patients and donors while ensuring complete transparency. It also sets up free medical camps in the rural areas of Pakistan in which, free medical consultation, free medicines, and free diagnostic tests are provided to deserving patients. Donors from all over the world can use the Transparent Hands crowdfunding web portal and donate through 100% secure payment modes. They could select any patient, fund the treatment and receive regular feedback and updates until the patient has recovered completely.
How can you become a part of this year’s sight day?
For starters, you could donate to Transparent Hands or any other NGO/INGO that is helping the underprivileged defeat blindness. But that’s not the only way you can play your part in making world sight day 2021 a successful event. You can talk about it in your friends and family circle, run a campaign in its favour on social media, or even visit an eye hospital in your vicinity and spend some time with those who cannot enjoy the beauty of this world anymore! All that you have to be is a little creative, a little imaginative!