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World Sight Day

World Sight Day is a global event that focuses on bringing attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is observed on the second Thursday of October each year.

Looking through eyeglasses at an eye exam chart.
World Sight Day raises awareness about blindness and vision impairment, as well as the provision of eye health care .
World Sight Day raises awareness about blindness and vision impairment, as well as the provision of eye health care .
©iStockphoto.com/Gene Chutka

What Do People Do?

The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health, and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) are actively involved in coordinating events and activities for World Sight Day. Associations such as Lions Clubs International have also been actively involved in promoting the day on an annual basis for many years.
Many communities, associations, and non-government organizations work together with WHO and IAPB to promote the day for the following purposes:

  • To raise public awareness of blindness and vision impairment as major international public health issues.
  • To influence governments, particularly health ministers, to participate in and designate funds for national blindness prevention programs.
  • To educate target audiences about blindness prevention, about VISION 2020 and its activities, and to generate support for VISION 2020 program activities.

Some people plant trees to commemorate World Sight Day and while others submit a photo for an international photo montage that focuses on the theme of blindness. Other activities include taking part in awareness-raising walks or distributing and displaying posters, bookmarks, booklets and other forms of information the raise awareness about preventable blindness.

Public Life

World Sight Day is a global observance but it is not a nationwide public holiday.


The world's population is ageing and people are living longer but blindness from chronic conditions is also rising, according to WHO. About 80 percent of the world's 45 million blind people are aged over 50 years. About 90 percent of blind people live in low-income countries, where older people, especially older women, face barriers to getting the necessary eye health care. Yet, many age-related conditions leading to blindness – such as cataract, refractive error and glaucoma – can be easily and cheaply treated or cured. Timely intervention can often delay or reduce their effects on vision.

Lions Clubs International partnered with blindness prevention organizations worldwide to commemorate the first World Sight Day on October 8, 1998. This event was later integrated into VISION 2020, a global initiative that the IAPB coordinates. This initiative is a joint program between WHO and the IAPB. It involves non-government organizations, and professional associations, as well as eye care institutions and corporations.

World Sight Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
ThuOct 142010World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 132011World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 112012World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 102013World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 92014World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 82015World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 132016World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 122017World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 112018World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 102019World Sight DayWorldwide observance
ThuOct 82020World Sight DayWorldwide observance

Quick Facts

World Sight Day is annually held on the second Thursday of October to raise awareness about blindness and vision impairment.

World Sight Day 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018

World Sight Day 2019

Thursday, October 10, 2019


Name in other languages

World Sight DayEnglish
Día Mundial de la VisiónSpanish
עולם יום הראייהHebrew
يوم الرؤية العالميArabic
세계 시력의 날Korean
Welttag des SehensGerman

List of dates for other years

United Nation Holiday on October 11, 2018

Fun Holiday on October 11, 2018

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