TODAY does not only mark Fiji Day, it also marks World Sight Day.
"It is an annual day of awareness celebrated by everyone, such as NGOs, eyecare providers, doctors, and other stakeholders of eye care and blindness prevention around the world," Dr John Szetu, the director of the Pacific Eye Institute, told this newspaper.
Dr Szetu said several organisations based in Fiji would commemorate the day, including the International Agency for Prevention of Blindness, the Health Ministry and the Pacific Eye Institute.
"We want to raise the profile of blindness prevention work in Fiji and the region to ensure that the public are aware that blindness and vision problems are quite a significant problem in Fiji, and efforts should be taken to prevent the burden of blindness in Fiji," he said.
He said 80 per cent of blindness in Fiji was preventable, caused mainly by eye cataracts and increasingly, diabetes.
Last year, the Pacific Eye Institute attended to about 20,000 patients and performed more than 2000 surgeries.