To commemorate this milestone, the Sight for Kids program will be screening school children in Bangkok, Thailand, one of the first countries where the program began. These children are part of another 1 million expected to receive a Sight for Kids vision screening across Asia Pacific this year.
The 10th anniversary of Sight for Kids coincides with World Sight Day, an annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and visual impairment. It is observed by the World Health Organization, and many non-governmental organizations dedicated to saving and preserving sight with local partners. On this day and throughout October, Lions clubs around the world will hold vision screenings to detect visual impairments, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma screenings, eye health education and other eye-health related activities.
"World Sight Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate 10 years of preserving children’s sight with Sight for Kids. Johnson & Johnson Vision Care is our longest running corporate partner, and together we are making a difference in millions of children's lives," said Wing-Kun Tam, Chairperson of LCIF. "Lions are leaders in blindness prevention and Johnson & Johnson is a leader in vision care. Together, we are saving sight in areas of great need.”
An estimated 19 million children are visually impaired around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Over half of these children have refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism)
To address the issue of childhood visual impairment in Asia, LCIF and JJVC created the Sight for Kids program. Since the program’s creation in 2002, JJVC has committed more than US$2 million to fund Sight for Kids vision screenings in areas of need.
Led by Lions, JJVC employees and local partners, Sight for Kids engages eye care professionals who train local teachers to conduct school-based vision screenings and eye health education in underserved communities. When needed, students are referred to a local eye care professional and receive an eye exam, eyeglasses and further care at no cost.
“Sight for Kids has grown exponentially in its first 10 years and is evidence of the progress that a true collaboration can achieve,” said Thibaut Mongon, President, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Asia Pacific. “The program’s focused mission to lift the barrier of access to vision screening makes life-altering differences for children in underserved areas – and this is astounding progress for such a relatively young program.”
Ten years after being launched, Sight for Kids programs are thriving in Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal and India. To date:
• More than 16 million children have had their vision screened
• Nearly 600,000 have been referred to physicians for further evaluation
• More than 163,000 children have received free eye glasses
• 110,000 Lions volunteers and school teachers have been trained to screen children’s vision
• More than 76,000 children have been treated for various eye conditions
• More than 26,000 schools in Asia Pacific have participated
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About Lions Clubs International Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.35 million members in 207 countries and geographical areas around the world. Established in 1968, LCIF has been preventing avoidable blindness on a global scale for more than 20 years through the SightFirst program. Lions are investing US$415 million in SightFirst and have helped to restore sight to 30 million people worldwide. Learn more at http://www.lcif.org and http://www.lcif.org/
About Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
Anchored by its mission to bring healthy vision to everyone, everywhere, every day, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has set industry standards through groundbreaking technology and innovative products. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has 3,400 employees at offices and state-of-the-