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 here.
Examples of recent SightFirst grants include:
- Lebanon, District 351 received US$133,750 to cover a range of surgical and outpatient equipment for the new operating theater at Tripoli Governmental Hospital. The hospital specializes in the treatment and care of children born prematurely. This grant will make possible over 600 cataract surgeries a year, and other interventions. Additionally, prematurely born children suffering from retinopathy of prematurity will be able to have their condition treated.
- In Peru, District H-1, a US$71,900 grant was awarded to conduct a diabetic retinopathy screening and treatment campaign in collaboration with the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO) in La Libertad, Peru. The RIO is the Peruvian Ministry of Health’s regional referral center for comprehensive eye care and is the only hospital in La Libertad that offers treatment for diabetic retinopathy. This project will provide 630 laser treatments to diabetic retinopathy patients.
- US$783,521 was awarded to Lions in District 403-B to continue their work towards an onchocerciasis (river blindness) control program nationwide. Lions clubs will help with planning, monitoring, community awareness and mobilization campaigns, as well as advocacy efforts. This project aims to distribute treatments to at least 82% of the eligible population, train or retrain community drug distributors, community supervisors at district and health centers levels and medical personnel at referral hospitals. More than 3.4 million treatments of Mectizan will be distributed over a period of one year.