Annual World Sight Day is held on the second Thursday of every October to raise awareness on blindness and visual impairment. Brought together by the Vision 2020 Programme conducted by the Ministry of Health and So Others May See (SOMS), Etisalat Lanka is announcing details of events and activities conducted to commemorate this significant day and create public awareness of the serious health issue.
The day will be commemorated by a pledge to take part in a walkathon from Viharamahadevi Park to Independence Square on October 13 to raise awareness on sight. The walkathon will see the participation of His Excellency the President, Minister of Health, Etisalat Lanka, SOMS, Vision 2020 and a representative from the College of Eye Surgeons.
Simultaneous to the walkathon, a series of eye care clinics will take place in Pinwatte Maha Viharaya, Kalubowila. Eye tests will be conducted to examine about 1200 individuals for visual disabilities with the objective of distributing free spectacles to approximately 1000 patients. Further, free screening and registrations will take place for free cataract surgeries. Additionally, Etisalat has also introduced a hotline to which the public can call for assistance or place inquires on eye care (0721 212 123) which is designated to SOMS. Additionally, a public awareness activity will be initiated by placing Snellen Charts (Eye Test) in bus stops in Colombo, which will enable the public to test their eye sight while on their commute as well as build awareness.
Sri Lanka has a population of 20 million out of which approximately over one million suffer from low vision. Of these, around 150000 people are believed to be blind. Cataract Refractive errors, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and blindness in children are the causes of blindness and vision impairment. Majority of them are blind of cataract. Although most cases of cataracts are related to the aging process, cataract may develop at birth, due to eye injuries and can also occur due to long standing diseases.
The brand is broadening their previous CSR initiative to distribute free spectacles, which took place annually during local religious festivals. “In the long term, our sustainable initiative seeks to ensure the best possible vision for deserving individuals, thereby improving quality of life” said Chief Commercial Officer of Etisalat Lanka, Yasser Aboulamayem.
“We hope that through these initiatives we are able to significantly contribute to reducing the number of persons suffering from preventable blindness via more efficient screening, eye care services and the provision of surgeries and spectacles to correct vision impairments in the elderly as well as the young” continued Aboulamayem.
Etisalat Lanka has been involved in supporting Sri Lanka’s endeavor in working towards the elimination of cataracts and vision impairment and is committed to giving back to the community by focusing on driving more meaningful community development projects. The ‘072’ network has been in Sri Lanka for over 25 years and an initiative to conduct a sustainable CSR campaign of this nature would truly benefit the people of Sri Lanka.