Once again, World Sight Day proved a great success: our employee volunteers and partners across the world got actively involved and together we screened over 80,000 people. The spirit of this emblematic day for our mission of improving lives by improving sight is summed up by this year’s campaign message: “We share the same world. Shouldn’t we share the same vision?” Unfortunately, the ideal expressed is far from a reality today: one in three people can’t see the world around them properly because they lack access to basic eye testing and vision correction. We have the ambition to change this and to eliminate poor vision form the planet by 2050.
Once again, Essilor’s employees and our partner organizations were a real driving force throughout the day echoing our campaign, with conferences, public statements, eye tests, donations of spectacle frames and much, much more, giving the campaign global reach.
World Sight Day 2018 in figures
+ 55 countries
+ 80 entities
+ 80 000 onsite eye tests
+ 10 000 tests on www.putvisionfirst.com
For this year’s World Sight Day, we took up an important issue: raising awareness about the importance of good vision on the roads which we all share. Today, the link between vision and road safety is firmly established: according to the World Health Organization, 1.25 million people worldwide die from road accidents and 50 million are severely injured. Studies show that one in five drivers has vision problems, and vision is one of the contributing factors in a large number of road accidents.
Through our campaign, we put into action our call to road users – drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorbike riders – to adopt 3 good habits to improve safety:
check your vision;
protect your eyes from glare;
wear appropriate glasses.
Engagement and commitment around the world
Hundreds of initiatives led by Essilor employees, our suppliers and partners contributed to create awareness for the importance of eye care. Many initiatives were focused on children and vulnerable members of society.
In Turkey for example, a country of 80 million inhabitants where an estimated 10.8 million people suffer from uncorrected poor vision, the number of children whose vision needs correction is also very high. Essilor joined forces with several stakeholders across the country (local governments, hospitals, eyewear shops, etc.) in order to mount a large-scale operation to provide eye tests and glasses to children in underprivileged neighbourhoods.
A national screening program was launched in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo to mark World Sight Day. Teams from Essilor visited more than twenty schools helping to educate 380 teachers about children’s vision and screening. In all, over 200 children were given a pair of glasses. And this is just the beginning!
World Sight Day was also the beginning of an innovative collaboration in Kenya with Total. The goal is to give road users access to optical equipment at gas stations and truck stops and improve road safety in Africa by improving awareness and access to eye care.
As a driver, passenger and pedestrian I, for one, do not take my sight for granted and urge all in the Optical Sector to support Vision & Driving this World Sight Day.
Lastly, this year, Essilor was able to count on the exceptional support of the International Opticians Association (IOA). In the words of its president, Fiona Anderson “The IOA fully endorses the Vision & Driving initiative. Any campaign that reduces death and accidents on our roads, and brings wider public awareness should be actively supported. As a driver, passenger and pedestrian I, for one, do not take my sight for granted and urge all in the Optical Sector to support Vision & Driving this World Sight Day.