New and Expanded Partnerships for SightFirst. Lions Clubs International Foundation strives to leverage Lions’ funding through partnerships with companies and organizations that share a common mission. A new partnership with Bausch + Lomb and an expanded partnership with Essilor will help Lions and LCIF continue and expand their sight services through SightFirst. LCIF is partnering with Bausch + Lomb Early Vision Institute. The Pediatric Cataract Initiative will prevent and treat cataract in infants and children and promote early childhood vision screenings. Bausch + Lomb is contributing US$350,000 in the pilot year to launch the partnership program. The program was formally announced June 30 during the International Convention in Sydney. Pediatric cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens that can cause childhood vision loss and blindness. This new partnership program will help treat and prevent pediatric cataract. “Too many newborns afflicted with pediatric cataract have a lifetime of vision loss and blindness ahead of them – an untenable prospect in today’s world,” said Paul Sartori, corporate vice president of Bausch + Lomb. “With more funding and attention placed on research, prevention and treatment, we’ll be making an impact in the lives of children worldwide.” The rate of pediatric cataract in developed nations is one to four children per 100,000 births. However, in underserved countries, the rate can be 10 times greater. As such, during its first year, the Initiative will primarily focus on aiding children in China, where an estimated 40,000 children suffer from pediatric cataract. For additional information, visit www.TheirVision.org. LCIF also is launching a new partnership with Essilor International to support comprehensive uncorrected refractive error (URE) services. The partnership will develop, expand and strengthen sustainable systems that target underserved populations through high-quality, low-cost programs as well as branch into other areas of joint interest. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 158 million people worldwide are visually impaired and 8 million people are blind due to URE. Refractive error can be corrected with a pair of eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery. Lions and Essilor will identify institutions in areas with significant blindness prevention needs and a lack of URE service capacity. Action plans will be developed in consultation with local Lions. The plans will be presented to SightFirst for funding; Essilor will provide access to low-cost equipment and on-staff expertise, with initial pilot programs over the next year in select African countries. “Essilor International is excited to embark on a new long-term partnership with LCIF. Essilor's corporate mission, helping mankind ‘See the World Better’ fundamentally complements the core mission of LCIF to fight against blindness,” said Hubert Sagnières, CEO of Essilor. E s s i l o r will also offer Lions Clubs International an exclusive brand-quality lens at an affordable price that can be used for Lions’ humanitarian purposes worldwide. The Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers will also benefit, as Essilor will provide the centers with guidelines, technical assistance and funding to implement up-to-date, effective recycling practices to improve efficiency and sustainability. Lions have a long-standing relationship with Essilor including in-kind product donations for Opening Eyes, Lions’ partnership program with Special Olympics.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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