Accordingly, this year’s WSD theme is “gender equality in accessing eye care” and falls on Thursday on October 8. This year is the seventh year that Vietnam has acknowledged the day with a wide range of activities, including providing free eye check-ups and treatment and medicines to the poor, old people, children and policy beneficiaries.
A meeting in response to the World Sight Day was held in the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO) on October 8, attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, domestic and foreign organisations, including Vietnam Red Cross, CBM, HKI, ORBIS as well as eye doctors from across the country.
According to VINO’s survey in 2007, around 11.1 million of people over 50 years old were blind because of cataracts. The number of people over 50 years old will increase from 12.8 percent in 1995 to 22.7 percent in 2020, leading to an increase of nearly 80 percent of blind and visually impaired people in 2020.
The country currently has 1,188 eye doctors (13.8 doctors per 1 million people). However, eight provinces have not established eye care centres, including Ben Tre, Dong Nai, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Khanh Hoa, Long An, Quang Nam and Tay Ninh.
The eye sector and the Ministry of Health have set a target for 2020 to eradicate blindness caused by cataracts and ensure that no children are blind due to a lack of vitamin A.