World Sight Day 2023

The theme for this year’s World Sight Day is “Love Your Eyes at Work.” This theme underscores the critical importance of caring for our eyes in the workplace. While Retina International supports the “Love Your Eyes at Work campaign to raise awareness of the global challenge of sight loss, people living with retinal diseases experience several challenges at work which include, discrimination, limited accessibility, and the need for accommodations to perform their duties effectively.  Therefore, to address these and several other issues experienced by patients with retinal diseases particularly those living with Age Related Macular Degeneration, Retina International along with its global membership is unveiling ten crucial policy recommendations for Age Related Macular Degeneration and launching the Action4AMD initiative, a global policy and advocacy initiative on AMD. 


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)  is the leading cause of vision impairment among older individuals, impacting more than 200 million people worldwide. As the world’s population continues to age, the prevalence of AMD is on the rise. This condition gradually erodes central vision, and in advanced stages, it can severely affect daily activities such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces. Late-stage AMD is a leading cause of irreversible blindness and visual impairment globally, categorized as neovascular/wet AMD (nAMD) or advanced dry AMD, also known as Geographic Atrophy (GA). 


The AMD Policy Recommendations stem from the AMD Policy & Advocacy Taskforce initiated by Retina International in response to the findings from the RI Cost of Illness Study conducted in October 2022.  


These recommendations call for the establishment of a global policy framework for aging eye care, guiding the development of regional and national strategies and action plans for eye health and healthy aging. They advocate for amendments to national legislation, support investments in Research and Development (R&D), as well as health and social care for the aging community at regional and national levels. These ten recommendations, encompassing prevention, early detection, screening, diagnosis, treatment, care, research, and infrastructural improvements, provide a roadmap for Policy & Advocacy for the next decade, safeguarding the well-being of AMD patients and their caregivers. 


As the European Parliament Elections are scheduled for June 2024, European RI members can apply these recommendations through a structured advocacy campaign and the launch of the Action4AMD initiative in Europe. 


Retina International expresses concern over the insufficient European policy framework addressing the aging retina’s epidemiology and the needs of individuals living with AMD and GA. This lack of involvement from the affected community in policy definition and implementation has resulted in fragmented advocacy efforts that do not accurately represent the experiences and views of patients and their caregivers. This deficiency poses a barrier to the development and implementation of robust regional and national strategies, aligned with the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development and the UN decade for healthy aging. 


To address this gap, the patient community is launching the Action4AMD Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of AMD and present a united message to existing Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), MEP candidates, national political parties, European parliament political groupings in Brussels, and Member States (MS). A central component of this campaign is the Action4AMD Coalition, composed of patient advocates from European Member Organizations within Retina International. This coalition will collaborate to draft a manifesto outlining key policy requests that can guide the political programs of European Parliament candidates. The manifesto is the first step in our programme of global advocacy action that will launch in June 2024.  


For further information on this initiative, you can contact Laura López Caraballo, Membership and Engagement Coordinator at Retina International, via email at You can also find more details on this campaign through the provided link. Click here for more information

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