Lions Clubs International Foundation and Johnson & Johnson Vision Complete Two Decades of Partnership on Sight for Kids Initiative

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Kolkata: 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 programme. The programme is the largest-known, school-based eye health programme operating in India, Kenya, Thailand, Philippines and has now expanded to include locations in the United States. More sites in the EMEA region will also be added soon.

Sight for Kids in India has over the last 20 years delivered a 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 have been provided with advanced treatments through the programme. 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 programme.

In West Bengal alone, 18 million school-going children have benefitted from the vision screening, referral and advanced treatment through the programme. Thirty eye-care clinics/hospitals and 20,000 teachers in 7303 schools are part of the programme. Refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) is a common diagnosis which can be easily 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 Singh, International Third Vice President of Lions International.

To commemorate the milestone, a series of events are being organised in Kolkata from November 1 to 3, 2022. Delegates from LCIF as well as Johnson & Johnson Vision took 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 Lions Netra 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 were 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 eyeglasses and trained 2,00,000 teachers to deliver eye health education and screen students for common eye conditions.