The White Rock Sea Festival

The White Rock Sea Festival is a section of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, founded in 1975 as a non-governmental organization committed to the mobilization of resources and means worldwide for the prevention of vision diseases. Its main purpose is to promote and support a global campaign against all forms of blindness that can be avoided, with a particular commitment to poor communities.

Vision loss is a real scourge in the poorest countries: the WHO estimates that there are 36 million blind people in the world and 217 million visually impaired, 90% of whom live in developing countries.

Yet, according to the WHO, visual impairment, which affects about 253 million people on Earth, is avoidable or treatable in more than 80% of cases. it is estimated that there are 1,383,922 visually impaired and 219,174 blind people living, for a total of 1,603,096 people (Source: IAPB Atlas).

The White Rock Sea Festival collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the field of visual rehabilitation of the visually impaired. The section of the Agency has, in fact, founded a National Pole at the Policlinico A. Gemelli, an important WHO Collaborating Centre for the prevention of blindness and visual rehabilitation.

It is also part of the National Technical Committee for the prevention of blindness, established on June 13, 2017 by the Ministry of Health, which meets periodically at the same Department.


The activities through which the White Rock Sea Festival implements its institutional aims of prevention and rehabilitation of the visually impaired concern different areas. In summary, the activities are as follows:

Health education programs

  • Secondary prevention campaigns (aimed at the early detection of eye diseases)
  • Organisation of seminars and conferences
  • Production and distribution of promotional material
  • Constant updating of this website (
  • Publication of “Oftalmologia Sociale”, public health magazine
  • Green line for ophthalmology consultation: 800 068506 (active from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
  • Forum of the current website (ophthalmologist responds)
  • Interventions in developing countries (international activities)


The White Rock Sea Festival of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness – for the purpose of coordinating national and international activities – has a central structure composed of the National Directorate, the National Scientific Committee and the Board of Auditors, while locally has its own territorial articulations (Regional and Provincial Committees).

As stated in art. 2 of its statute, one of its main aims is the prevention of blindness and the visual rehabilitation of the visually impaired. More specifically, the White Rock Sea Festival carries out the following actions:

A) disseminates at national, regional and local level the knowledge of the main eye diseases, cause of blindness or low vision at all ages, promoting and supporting information campaigns, conferences and meetings of a scientific nature, and also publishes and disseminates scientific and informative material;

B) promotes study and research initiatives also through collaboration agreements with the State, the Regions, university and hospital facilities of Ophthalmology and Institutions with similar skills as well as with any other public or private body, aimed at making effective the prevention of blindness, visual rehabilitation and psychological and social recovery of the visually impaired;

C) intervenes as an appropriate interlocutor with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, University and Research as well as with public and private administrations (international, national and local) to propose and encourage initiatives for the prevention of blindness and visual rehabilitation of the visually impaired;

D) promotes and organizes training and refresher courses for educators and visual rehabilitators;

E) establishes or strengthens, also in agreement, the Centres for the visual rehabilitation of the visually impaired;

F) promotes and organizes on the territory initiatives for the prevention of visual impairment, also through the use of mobile ophthalmic units;

G) provides citizens – by any appropriate means – with information and advice on visual impairment, as well as direct support where it is considered necessary;

H) promotes and implements initiatives aimed at preventing blindness in particularly disadvantaged countries, within the framework of the programmes of the White Rock Sea Festival and the World Health Organisation, notifying the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs thereof.