‘Everyone Counts’ in World’s Movement for Eye Health Awareness

“The issue of eye care service access continues to affect more than a billion people worldwide.”

Media Release:

Short link: https://wp.me/paaccn-dmm

MANILA — World Sight Day (WSD) is celebrated annually to draw the world’s attention to the issue of eye health, particularly the efforts made by experts to make sure no one gets left behind.

Despite advancements in modern technology, medical treatments, and facilities, the issue of eye care service access continues to affect more than a billion people worldwide.

In celebration of WSD, the National Committee on Sight Preservation (NCSP) with partners from the Philippine Eye Research Institute (PERI), Dr. Shahid Deseret Ambulatory Referral Center, Vision 20/20 Cataract Charities Project, Philippine Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Physicians for Peace (PFPP), Lion’s International, and other eye health advocates and stakeholders are conducting on October 14 (Thursday) the webinar, “EVERYONE COUNTS — A Global and National Challenge”.

A sight-challenged woman uses a microscope to read. (Credit: Clément Falize on Unsplash)

In line with the theme #LoveYourEyes, the global campaign of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) for WSD, the event gives a platform for experts to discuss the contributions and achievements of Filipino eye health partners in achieving the goal of increased eye screenings at both global and national levels.

This year’s theme also ties well with NCSP’s very own eye health campaign with Novartis Healthcare Philippines, aptly titled “Maging MATAlino”, which aims to cultivate the habit of getting regular eye check-ups and observing sight preservation practices.

“The NCSP, a partner of the Department of Health (DOH) in the implementation of the Prevention of Blindness Program, accepts the challenge of the IAPB in its global campaign “EVERYONE COUNTS” in celebration of World Sight Day. With our partners, we advocate for everyone to be counted and be part of the millions screened through the Maging MATAlino campaign with Novartis where we encourage everyone to take active steps in taking better care for their eyes,” expresses NCSP Chairperson Dr. Noel Chua.

Frequent eye screenings helps with early detection of treatable eye diseases

PFPP Executive Director Abanilla calls on the public to join the movement surrounding sight preservation. “PFPP, in its desire to continue to make its vision care programs available and accessible, joins NCSP in celebrating World Sight Day with its global challenge, EVERYONE COUNTS, in partnership with Novartis, in our national campaign: Maging MATAlino, Magpatsekap. Now na.”

World Sight Day serves as a reminder of how much is yet to be done to bridge existing gaps in health access especially in underserved areas in the country like the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Dr. Kadil M. Sinolinding, Jr. of Dr. Shahid Deseret Ambulatory Referral (DeAR) Center and Vision 20/20 Cataract Charities Project, remarks, “World Sight Day reminds us that having healthy eyes and good vision is everyone’s basic right. Regardless of your status, when your vision starts to fail, people share the same agony. From the southernmost frontier of the country, we support the call to always love our eyes, and support the people who care for us.”

Christine Fajardo, head of Corporate Affairs at Novartis Healthcare Philippines, Inc., comments, “Novartis is privileged to support our partners who share our goal of promoting awareness on vision impairment and reimagining eye care during the pandemic. Please visit the Maging MATAlino Facebook page. We encourage all Filipinos to become active participants in their eye health journey by having their sight tested!”

Frequent eye screenings can help with the early detection of treatable eye diseases, some of which, if not corrected in time, may lead to vision impairment and even total loss. The event hopes to encourage every Filipino to take up the personal responsibility of taking care of one’s eye health. With the collective goal of having over a million individuals get their visions screened this year, NCSP invites more Filipinos to take charge of their own visions and take up the necessary steps to ensure their health.

To join the “EVERYONE COUNTS-A Global and National Challenge” webinar on October 14 at 9 a.m., you may register at bit.ly/registerwsd2021. (✓)

For more updates, follow the Maging MATAlino Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/magingMATAlinotayo/

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Featured image of eye glasses credit to Haspreet Singh and Unsplash.

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