Every minute a child goes blind
Carlos was one of the 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 effective eye care. Accounting for 21 percent of total cases of blindness in Latin America, childhood blindness is especially prevalent in countries like Ecuador.
Offered a new outlook
But darkness was not in five-year-old Carlos’ future. Through a regular screening offered by Lions, his family heard about the Metrofraternidad Foundation (FMF). At the LCIF-funded childhood blindness center in Ecuador, Carlos received surgery that restored his vision. Part of a SightFirst and World Health Organization joint initiative, FMF is one of 34 needs-based pediatric Lions eye care centers around the world committed to eliminating avoidable blindness in children. Since the Lions started supporting FMF in 2003, the number of children treated each year has risen steadily from 500 to more than 1,500 annually.
Today, young Carlos enjoys going to school and playing with his friends. He still receives treatment for strabismus, which developed after the cataract surgeries, but his vision continues to improve. “If it weren’t for the FMF, my son would still be blind,” said his father, grateful for the intervention of the Lions.
Read more about how Lions are fighting avoidable childhood blindness.