KARACHI: Eighty percent cases of blindness and vision loss are curable or preventable, said a statement issued by Standard Chartered in connection with World Sight Day, observed once a year on the second Thursday of October. World Sight Day is observed to raise awareness of the 36 million people who are blind and the 217 million people that are visually impaired worldwide.Standard Chartered committed to raise $100 million by 2020 through ‘Seeing is Believing’ – its global initiative, run in partnership with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB). The initiative aims to fund leading eye health organisations to deliver projects that train doctors and health workers, develop eye care infrastructure and support services to the poor, the bank said.Since 2003, Seeing is Believing had invested over $95 million in projects reaching 150 million people through work to restore sight, prevent blindness and educate communities about the importance of eye care. Over 4 million people have had their sight restored by surgeries supported by Seeing is Believing, the bank said.According to the Vision Loss Expert Group, the global prevalence of visual impairment has dropped from 4.58 per cent in 1990 to 3.38 per cent in 2015. The decline indicated the collective efforts of medical professionals, civil society organisations, governments and corporations, including Seeing is Believing, were leading to meaningful change across the world, it was said.“There is a lot that needs to be done to eliminate avoidable blindness. Individual organisations like Standard Chartered are a pivotal part of the solution to help tackle avoidable blindness. We hope that through Seeing is Believing, we can raise awareness of the issue in our country. That’s why across the globe, we’ll be celebrating World Sight Day”, said Standard Chartered Pakistan Chief Executive Officer Shazad Dada. Published in Daily Times, October 13th 2017.