Anis Jamaluddin’s nine-year-old daughter damaged her eye while playing badminton. The Malaysian mother took her to a hospital, where doctors inspecting the eye discovered a traumatic cataract. The next day the girl underwent surgery to restore her sight at the new Lions-World Health Organization (WHO) Child Eye Care Center in Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia. “I would like to thank the doctors and the Lions for helping my daughter regain her sight,” said Jamaluddin. “This center provides such professional care, and we are blessed to have a local resource like this.” The child eye care center was made possible thanks to the SightFirst program, which provided more than $4 million over the last five years to prevent childhood blindness. Six pediatric ophthalmology clinics were established in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam. These centers have done eye screenings for more than four million, pediatric cataract surgeries for 45,000 and refractive error treatments for more than 200,000. Also 20,500 people received primary eye care training and an additional 1,000 professionals received more advanced eye care education. Worldwide, LCIF and WHO established 30 child eye care centers that serve as pediatric ophthalmology clinics. In Manila, the waiting lines are always out the door at the clinic at the Philippine General Hospital, which is open twice a week to treat childhood blindness. Lions from Angles City drive children more than 50 miles to the Lions-WHO Child Eye Care Center in Manila. In March, the four children Lions transported had a variety of eye care issues including lazy eye, cornea and retina problems. One boy, hit by a classmate, received an artificial eye. Thanks again to SightFirst, the Lions-WHO center at the Philippine General Hospital has been fully equipped to serve as an advanced pediatric ophthalmology clinic. An annual fellowship trains a pediatric ophthalmologist, who can work in underserved rural areas. In the near future, the center plans to offer a fellowship to a neighboring country that does not have a pediatric ophthalmology program.
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