Awareness campaign close-up: World Sight Day to call for action

World Sight Day will this year be marked by the launch of a report on the state of the world’s sight. It will also look back on global campaigning group Vision 2020’s first five years – and forward to the next 15.

Organisation Vision 2020 / Campaign World Sight Day / PR team In-house / Date 13 October / Budget Undisclosed

The annual day, this year on 13 October, aims to boost awareness of global blindness, pointing out that three quarters of all blindness could be prevented or cured. The campaign will also ask governments, corporations and other funding sources to spend more on the prevention of blindness.

Vision 2020 wants to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020, and World Sight Day is the group's main PR and advocacy event during the year. Blindness groups across the world are being asked to get local health ministers and celebrities to sign a declaration calling for action.

In the UK, former prime minister John Major – a Vision 2020 ambassador – is presenting Seeing is Believing, a documentary about avoidable blindness in the developing world,  set to screen on BBC World this weekend.

'Gala events' are planned worldwide, while local groups are preparing to create photo opportunities, such as having campaigners distribute Vitamin A tablets to children.

Public education is planned in schools, including 'readathons' and competitions, while there are also plans to hold musical concerts in the dark or other 'blackout' events.

For further information contact Vision 2020 interim comms officer Abi Smith on 020 7927 2973.

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