Nicole Brown 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Doug Martin is a school bus driver, so he was surprised when he failed a visual acuity test at a Lions’ screening in Camperdown, Australia. He was immediately referred for a comprehensive eye examination, and the eye doctor determined that he had cataracts in both eyes. After undergoing surgery and receiving glasses, he was able to return to his job. Martin is not the only one with undetected vision problems. In fact, 153 million people are visually impaired because of near-sightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Yet almost all of them could have normal vision with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. That’s where Lions come in. Lions have long played a key role in preventing blindness, both in their local communities as well as globally. Through SightFirst, Lions develop and implement projects that save sight, raise awareness of eye diseases and educate communities on preventative programs. Lions are leading these efforts and are having great results. Hundreds of thousands of people have had their eyesight saved or restored at an average cost of US$6 per person. The Lions Eye Health Program (LEHP) is one example of how Lions raise awareness of eye health and disease prevention in their communities. Begun in the United States, the program also has had great success in Turkey, Japan, Canada, Fiji and Australia. Launched in 2000, the Australian LEHP program has galvanized Lions. LEHP there has established paid and volunteer management positions, created a wide range of materials in multiple languages and coordinated regular public events. Lions have made the program a permanent, ongoing program of the multiple district. Through LEHP Martin and many others have been screened and had their vision saved or restored. Lions World Sight Day is another example of Lions’ efforts to raise awareness of eye diseases and promote the need for regular eye exams. For more than 12 years, Lions have conducted special sight-related projects during the month of October. World Sight Day has since become An international event of Vision2020 in which other blindness prevention nongovernmental organizations also participate. This year’s Lions World Sight Day event will be held in Osaka, Japan. Lions will hold events and provide equipment for the visually impaired at a zoo, a school for the blind and visually impaired and the Lighthouse for the Blind. Through Lions’ SightFirst efforts, such as the Lions Eye Health Program, Lions World Sight Day and other outreach efforts, Lions are raising awareness and reducing blindness on a global scale. By successfully raising more than US$200 million through Campaign SightFirst II, Lions will remain leaders in eye health promotion and disease prevention.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Visionary+Work/497468/47007/article.html.