The world sight day was celebrated yesterday at the central market with the theme "Children and Vision" focusing mainly on children who are visually impaired.

Those present at the celebration were Government representatives, Non Governmental Organizations, stakeholders and curious members of the public.

Speaking at the opening of the celebration, world sight day committee chairman, Mr. Eddie Babanisi, stated that it is important to "bear in mind that children must have their rights respected even if they are visually impaired". Mr Babanisi also expressed his gratitude to those that have been supportive towards those that have problems with vision.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Medical Service, Dr. George Malefoasi, pointed out that at least 0.7% of children with vision problem are curable. "This is a priority for us, having proper eye services to ensure that it does not lead to future problems. The theme for today is important because the children are our leaders for tomorrow," says Dr. Malefoasi.

Also speaking at the world sight day was the Acting Liaison Officer for the World Health Organization (WHO,) Dr. Jeffery Hii, who highlighted the fact that "every five minutes children in developing countries die due to lack of proper access to basic health services and this leads to continuous problems".

Dr Hii also stated that the reluctance to give priority to visual prevention "led to the vision 2020 for children adopted by the WHO". He said that the vision 2020 is an initiative that aims to increase awareness through targeted programmes, provide training for relevant authorities to handle such problems and build proper infrastructure.