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SightFirst

SightFirst

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When LCIF helps a child see the world for the first time, protects a village from a debilitating eye disease or intervenes before someone goes blind due to diabetic eye disease, SightFirst grants make these efforts possible. SightFirst grants turn the SightFirst mission—building comprehensive eye care systems to fight the major causes of blindness and care for people who are blind or visually impaired—into action. These grants upgrade hospitals and clinics; train doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers; and distribute medicine and raise awareness about eye diseases and conditions.

The SightFirst program funds high-quality, sustainable projects that deliver eye care services, develop infrastructure, train personnel and/or provide rehabilitation and education in underserved communities. Of utmost concern are the major causes of blindness and vision impairment: cataract, river blindness, trachoma, uncorrected refractive error and, especially in developed nations, diabetic eye disease and glaucoma.

Lions have raised more than US$415 million to fund the SightFirst program and save sight around the world. Lions' districts work with their regional SightFirst technical advisor in developing SightFirst grant applications and project proposals.

Our sight programs have changed the lives of millions. Read a few sight stories.

Materials:

Recent SightFirst grants include:

  • Niger, District 403-A1 - A US$150,000 grant was awarded to the Lions of Niger and The Carter Center to assist the Nigerien Ministry of Health’s efforts to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem. The Carter Center and the Lions of Niger have supported a total 7,270 trichiasis surgeries in Niger between September 2016 and May 2017. The additional project funding will support 11,000 trichiasis surgeries between September 2017 and August 2018. 
  • Mali, District 403-A1 - A grant of US$100,000 was awarded to the Lions of Mali and The Carter Center to assist the Malian Ministry of Health’s efforts to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem.  The Carter Center and the Lions of Mali have supported a total 384 trichiasis surgeries in Mali between September 2016 and May 2017. The additional project funding will support 2,400 trichiasis surgeries between September 2017 and August 2018. 
  • Ethiopia, District 411-A  - A grant of US$2,550,000 was awarded to the Lions of Ethiopia and The Carter Center to assist the Amhara Regional Health Bureau to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem in the Amhara National Regional State. The Carter Center and the Lions of Ethiopia have supported a total 76,269 trichiasis surgeries in the Amhara State between September 2016 and May 2017. The project funding will support the operation of an additional 133,991 trichiasis patients and the distribution of 17,600,000 doses of Zithromax™ and Tetracycline ointment between September 2017 and August 2018. 
  • Ethiopia, District 411-A  - A US$1,200,000 grant was awarded to the Lions of Ethiopia and The Carter Center to help Ethiopia eliminate river blindness. The Carter Center and the Lions of Ethiopia have supported the distribution of 12,065,963 Mectizan® treatments between September 2016 and May 2017. Funding will make possible the distribution of an additional 18,421,949 annual and semi-annual Mectizan® treatments between September 2017 and August 2018. 
  • Ethiopia, District 411-A - A US$76,880 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 411-A to facilitate the Lions’ participation in community mobilization, sensitization, and advocacy efforts as it relates to trachoma and river blindness elimination in partnership with the Lions-Carter Center SightFirst Initiative. The grant will permit the Lions to participate in mass drug distribution field visits and to serve as representatives to the National Prevention of Blindness Task Force meetings. 
  • Uganda, District 411-B - A US$71,696 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 411-B to support advocacy, eye health education, and supervision efforts in the 14 expansion districts of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust trachoma elimination initiative. This grant will facilitate the Lions’ participation in five sub-regional meetings and to conduct 15 field supervision visits. 
  • Liberia, District 403-A2 - A US$400,705 grant was awarded to the Lions in District 403-A2 to support a two-year comprehensive eye care project in Margibi, Grand Bassa, and Rivercess counties in Liberia. The grant will establish a secondary-level eye care center in Buchanan, Liberia and will train a total of 33 eye health personnel. It is estimated that over 500,000 people will benefit from this project, and that 1,600 cataract operations will be performed.
  • Vietnam, Undistricted - A US$50,000 grant was awarded to the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology to provide comprehensive eye screening and cataract surgery to low-income patients in rural, underserved regions of northern Vietnam. Funding will support a five-month mobile outreach campaign during which a minimum of 568 surgeries will be performed. 
  • Papua New Guinea, District 201-Q2 - A US$645,066 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 201-Q2 and the Brien Holden Vision Institute to support a three-year comprehensive eye care project in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The grant funds will be used to establish a pediatric and low vision center at the Lions National Resource Center for Eye Care, upgrade the eye clinic at the Port Moresby General Hospital and establish a low vision working group which will conduct training, outreach and eye health education. 
  • India, District 322-F - A US$300,000 supplementary grant was awarded to the Lions of District 322-F to construct the Greater Lions Lala Vidhya Sagar Oswal Eye Hospital and Ophthalmic Training Institute. The supplementary request will support SF1800/322-F, a grant approved by LCIF in August 2014.  The hospital will be inaugurated and fully operational by December 2017. 
  • India, District 323-D1 - A US$133,338 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 323-D1 to upgrade comprehensive eye care services including cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma at Diwabilen Mohanlal Mehta Lions Eye Hospital in Ratnagiri over a three year period. The grant will support the upgrade of one secondary eye care facility, and the establishment of two vision centers and five fixed facility centers.    
  • Sri Lanka, District 306-C2 - A US$112,950 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 306-C2 to upgrade comprehensive eye care services including cataract, glaucoma, childhood refractive error, and diabetic retinopathy at the Lions Sight Center at Nawalapitiya District General Hospital over three years. The grant will support the upgradation of one secondary eye care facility. 
  • United States of America, Florida, District 35N - A US$190,000 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 35N (Florida) and the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind to target underserved school-aged children with uncorrected refractive error by providing vision screening, dilated eye exams, and prescription eyeglasses over a three year period. The grant will be used for infrastructure development, service delivery, and screening. 
  • Argentina, District O-2 - A US$170,200 grant was awarded to the Lions of District O-2 to provide comprehensive eye care services including cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma treatment at the San Javier Ophthalmological Center.  The grant will be used to implement eye health education campaigns and to upgrade infrastructure and equipment.   
  • Various, Undistricted -  A US$100,000 grant was awarded to help three African and/or Middle Eastern countries carry-out baseline assessments of access to diabetes and diabetic retinopathy care, estimate the level of cooperation between these two branches of health care, and assess the financial risk for patients.

SightFirst Research: 

  • International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness - “Bhutan National Representative Follow-Up mRAAB Survey” US$49,844 

  • Bowen University Teaching Hospital - “Alternative Method of Refractive Error Assessment in a Poor Resource Community Using Focometer” US$20,656 

  • Orbis International - “A Randomized Trial of Low-Cost Model Eyes for Cataract Surgical Training of Rural Chinese Ophthalmologists” US$94,090 
  • International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness - “Tool for the Assessment of Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetes Management System (TADDS), Bolivia” US$15,900 
  • Brien Holden Vision Institute - “Willingness to Pay and Barriers to Purchasing Children’s Spectacles in Cambodia” US$99,957

For information about previously approved grants, please contact the Sight Programs department, contact SightFirst@lionsclubs.org.

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