SightFirst Continues to Have a Dramatic Impact on Timor-Leste
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) provides support for preventing avoidable blindness and restoring sight for people around the world. With a focus on building comprehensive and sustainable eye care systems, SightFirst provides funding for projects that deliver eye care services, build or strengthen eye care facilities, train professionals and build awareness about eye health in underserved communities.
The Lions of District 201-Q4 in Australia, in partnership with the Lions Club of Timor-Leste and the East Timor Eye Program, received a SightFirst grant for US$465,512 to help develop the local eye care system in Timor-Leste.
As part of this project, 3 trainees who were Senior Registrars completed an 18-month training program in the capital city of Dili and earned their Post Graduate Diploma of Ophthalmology. The graduation of Dr. Bernadete, Dr. Julia and Dr. Valerio brings the total number of ophthalmologists in Timor-Leste to 4, dramatically increasing possible access to eye care for the people living on the island.
SightFirst support to Timor-Leste is ongoing with a second grant for US$600,000. Human resource training is also a focus of this project, which aims to further develop the eye care system in order to ensure sustainability by 2019.