Working Tirelessly to #MakeVisionCount
Lions, LCI and LCIF work tirelessly every day to #makevisioncount, especially for children.
Children around the world are affected by a range of eye diseases and conditions, impacting their abilities to learn and socialize when left unaddressed. As they grow, poor vision may impact their ability to gain employment. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 19 million children are visually impaired. Of these, 12 million children are visually impaired due to refractive errors, a condition that could be easily diagnosed and corrected. Another 1.4 million are irreversibly blind and in need of various types of adaptation assistance.
In collaboration with partners, Lions are meeting the critical need for children’s vision services around the world through a range of programs, known as Lions Children’s Vision Care:
- Lions WHO Project for the Elimination of Childhood Blindness
LCIF has granted close to US$7 million to establish or strengthen 54 Lions pediatric eye care centers around the globe. Twelve centers will soon be opened under the second phase of this project. These centers deliver preventative, therapeutic, and rehabilitative eye care services for more than 140 million children.
- Sight for Kids
In 2002, Lions and Johnson & Johnson Vision created Sight for Kids, a program that mobilizes eye care professionals and volunteers to conduct vision screenings in low-income schools and provides teachers with eye health training. The program and local partners have provided free vision screening services to 24 million kids in cities around the world. In addition, Sight for Kids has provided exams and treatment access, including free eyeglasses, to 500,000 kids to date and seeks to double the total number of children treated to 1 million by 2021.
- Lions KidSight USA
This national coalition brings together Lions programs that screen children aged 6 months through 6 years and refer those needing follow-up care to qualified healthcare professionals. This partnership is between local Lions, community outreach teams, clinicians, universities, and vision photoscreening device manufacturers.
- Lions-Special Olympics Opening Eyes
Opening Eyes provides free eye exams at select Special Olympics sporting events worldwide. Athletes with intellectual disabilities are a largely underserved group when it comes to vision and health care. Through this partnership, athletes also receive diagnoses for vision-related problems, corrective and protective eyewear. Since 2001, more than 376,000 athletes have been examined, with prescription eyewear provided to nearly 200,000 athletes.