A group of five adults with two children standing in the background. Verso: World Health Day - 7 April 1962. Preserve Sight; Prevent Blindness. World Health Day, observed each year on 7 April, marks the anniversary of the coming into force of the constitution of the World Health Organization in 1948. The theme chosen for 1962 is "The Prevention of Blindness," and the object of World Health Day is to tell people how much preventable blindness exists in the world and what can be done to stop needless loss of sight. Onchocerciasis or river blindness is the filarial (worm) disease which, it has been estimated, affects more than 299,000,000 people throughout the world. It is caused by a minute worm, carried to human beings by the bite of the simulium fly (black fly) and the invasion of the eye by hordes of these worms results in blindness. In heavily infected areas, there are villages in which almost every adult is blind. In these villages children are precious for they alone can see to guide their elders for a few years until they themselves turn blind. Photo shows villagers of Djipologo, Upper Volta, who have lost thier sight due to onchocerciasis.
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World Health Organization; World Health Organization website