Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International and Johnson & Johnson Vision have completed 20 years of successful partnership in the Sight for Kids program.The program is the largest-known, school-based eye health program operating in India, Kenya, Thailand, Philippinesand has now expanded to include locations in the United States. More sites in the EMEA regionwill also be add soon.
Sight for Kids in India, has over the last 20 years delivered significant impact through its sites in Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal and Jharkhand. More than 37 million vision assessments have been conducted and 3,50,000 children been provided with advanced treatments through the program. To promote early detection and care, over 51,000 teachers have also been given training in basic eye health which will magnify the impact of the program.
In West Bengal alone, 18 million school going children have benefitted from the vision screening, referral and advanced treatment through the program.30 eye care clinics/hospitals and 20,000 teachers in 7303 schools are part of the program. Refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) is a common diagnosiswhich can beeasily corrected with eyeglasses. However, if left untreated, severe visual impairment and blindness may eventually occur.
“The gift of sight is a precious one and in children it can impact their ability to learn important life skills, development of cognitive skills, academic performance and success later on in life. We are celebrating 20 years of making a difference with Johnson & Johnson Vision, our longest running corporate partner. Through Sight for Kids, we have made a difference in the lives of millions of children in India and across the world. Through our continued collaboration and support of Lions across the world, we hope to change many more lives in the future. Together we can,” said AP SinghInternational Third Vice Presidentof Lions International.
To commemorate the milestone, a series of events are being organised in Kolkata from 1-3rd November 2022. Delegates from LCIF as well as Johnson & Johnson Vision will take part in mass community screening events at the Lions Safari Park and Calcutta Greater Vidya Mandir School. A site visit to SFK Referral Hospital Calcutta LionsNetra Niketan Eye Hospital and a roundtable discussion on best practices in eye care with leading eye care professionals, local ophthalmological associations, and NGO/Community Partners will also be organised.
Globally, 19 million children are estimated to be affected by visual impairment each year. Early diagnosis, intervention and treatment can help improve a child’s education and future success. Since 2002, Sight for Kids has conducted eye screening for over 42 million students, provided treatment to 6,00,000 students, delivered 500,000 pairs of eye glasses and trained 2,00,000 teachers to deliver eye health education and scree students for common eye conditions.