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WCO reveals theme for World Optometry Day

As part of World Optometry Week, taking place 19–25 March, the day seeks to highlight the contribution of the optometry profession in supporting access to eye health care as a human right

blue eye
Pexels/Michael Morse

The World Council of Optometry (WCO) will highlight the expanding role of the profession as part of World Optometry Day, advocating for greater global access to eye care and ensuring optometrists can thrive within their healthcare systems.

The theme for the 2023 World Optometry Day, on Thursday 23 March, is: ‘Expanding optometry’s role… the time is now!’

The global awareness day aims to highlight optometry as a healthcare profession, as well as the contribution of the profession in supporting access to eye healthcare as a human right.

With the 2023 theme, the WCO said it seeks to “advocate for stronger global access to eye care and ensure that optometrists around the world have the education and skills to thrive and contribute within their respective healthcare systems.”

Pointing to recent resolutions from the World Health Assembly and United Nations that adopted “ambitious” eye care targets, the WCO suggested these are “certainly achievable, through a collaborative approach among all eye care professions.”

Associate professor, Peter Hendicott, WCO president, said: “World Optometry Day provides an opportunity for optometry to reflect on its current and possible future roles in expanding access to quality and equitable eye care.”

“This calls for optometry to consider our responsibilities and potential roles within health care delivery systems, to identify how we can make a maximal contribution to reducing the burden of eye disease and its impact,” Hendicott continued. “We need to ensure that optometrists worldwide possess the necessary skills, knowledge and competencies to effectively move our profession forward to better serve our communities.”

World Optometry Day forms part of World Optometry Week, which runs from 19–25 March.

The WCO has encouraged optometrists to download and share digital assets that reaffirm the commitment of optometrists to advancing accessing eye care. These can be downloaded from the WCO website.