There are many initiatives organized by the Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired (Uici) through the territorial sections. The events will touch the major Italian municipalities and regional capitals with garrisons in the main squares. From organizing free eye exams, to information events on the complexity of the human eye and how to defend it from the damage caused by the abuse of electronic devices; from orientation activities on new accessible computer aids for learning dedicated to totally and partially blind students to those aimed at students and teachers for the prevention of vision problems during study; from informative conferences on the culture of prevention in collaboration with universities and local hospitals to the dissemination and distribution of information materials in squares and symbolic places of the cities, from the organization of conferences and moments of technical study up to the promotion of campaigns on specific topics for take care such as visual rehabilitation or raise awareness of the opportunities of telemedicine.
The emergence of low vision
Iapb also provides a toll-free number 800-068506 which offers free eye care consultations from Monday to Friday, from 10 to 13. On the website www.iapb.it/gmv2021/ there is also a map of Italy with the regions in which free initiatives or visits are foreseen. “The time to act is now – he declares Mario Barbuto, president of Iapb Italia and Uici – also because the phenomenon of low vision, antechamber of absolute blindness and severe visual impairment is difficult to intercept and monitor, even if the World Health Organization denounces its growth all over the world, and already today it is estimated that around 240 million people are affected by low vision and blindness globally.
More resources for eye health
From this point of view, our country must do more. “In the first place – continues Barbuto – it is necessary to give full and broader implementation to Law 284/97 which entrusts the Regions with the management of prevention programs through ministerial funding, with information campaigns that illustrate to citizens the need to undergo periodic checks until from a young age. Secondly, it is essential to allocate new resources for epidemiological investigations on a territorial and national scale that allow the extent of this emergency to be estimated more precisely. We hope that the institutions will listen to our voice already with the occasion of the next Budget Law and then within the implementation of the interventions developed within the PNRR ”.
The photo contest
Internationally, Iapb has launched the ‘Pledge Your Sight Test’ initiative, an invitation to people to take care of their eyes and to doctors to offer advice on the occasion of World Day by taking a photo that testifies the carrying out of the eye check so that it is an example for everyone. There is also the opportunity to participate in the Iapb World Sight Day 2021 photo contest to share what we see with the world. To participate, you can send your interpretation of this year’s theme by October 18th: #LoveYourEyes. “We are looking for images that capture the idea of what it can mean to have a healthy vision. Children who are reaching their full potential thanks to a clear vision, older people who participate fully in society thanks to corrective surgery, the tireless efforts of health professionals to ensure that no one is left behind or the hope for a brighter and healthier future ”Explains the Iapb World Sight Day 2021 team. The winners of the contest will be announced on October 29th.