A series of activities will be held in Hanoi on Oct. 13 to mark World Sight Day 2011, themed “Bright eyes for children”.

They include a meeting with the participation of delegates involved in national blindness prevention work, a photo exhibition and a screening of a cartoon film on eye diseases for school children. Children from Nguyen Dinh Chieu High School will receive gifts from the organising board.

In response to the day, the Hanoi Eye Hospital will offer free eye check-ups for children aged below 15 and free surgery for all visually-impaired children in the capital city from Oct. 10-14.

The HITEC eye hospital will also offer free check-ups and consultancy on eye diseases for the elderly aged over 60, to mark its first anniversary.

Initiated by the World Health Organisation and the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, World Sight Day falls on the second Thursday of October every year and aims to focus global attention on blindness and visual impairment while eradicating avoidable blindness all over the world.

This is the ninth year in which the day will be observed in Vietnam.

At present, there are almost 314 million blind and visually impaired people worldwide, of whom almost 2 million are from Vietnam. In Vietnam, nearly 23,000 children are blind in both eyes and this number keeps growing.

Statistics from the Hanoi Eye Hospital showed that there are 32,000 blind people in Hanoi, which accounts for 0.5 percent of the capital city’s population./.