A preventable tragedy
Fortunately, the right glasses made all the difference for Pichudom’s vision, but other children require surgery or preventative medication. Vision problems in children that are not caught and corrected early can lead to blindness or vision impairment later in life. One child goes blind each minute and half a million will lose their sight by the end of this year alone. An estimated 1.4 million children around the world are blind, yet the vision of 75 percent of these children could have been saved if they only had access to eye care.
Giving children the gift of sight
Pichudom was screened at the Preah Ang Duong Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, one of 34 need-based pediatric Lions eye care centers aimed at eliminating avoidable blindness in children. Pichudom is just one of the 121 million children worldwide who have benefited from a Lions eye care center, thanks to a SightFirst and World Health Organization joint initiative. SightFirst has given close to US$7 million in funding for the centers in countries around the world that provide preventive, therapeutic and rehabilitative eye care services for children. This funding will help us reach many more children; starting in 2011, 16 new Lions eye care centers will be supported.
“I would like to give my deepest appreciation to Lions for helping my grandson,” said Nget Hay, Pichudom’s grandfather. “I hope that Lions continue to support this center and future research to help all children of Cambodia.”