SightFirst Grants

SightFirst Grants

SightFirst grants can help a child see the world for the first time, they can protect a village from a debilitating eye disease, or intervene before someone goes blind due to diabetic eye disease. 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 in underserved communities; train doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers; and distribute medicine and raise awareness about eye diseases.

Of primary concern are the major causes of blindness and vision impairment: cataract, trachoma, uncorrected refractive error, diabetic eye disease, and glaucoma.

Lions’ districts work with their regional SightFirst technical advisor in developing SightFirst grant applications and project proposals.

The applications for SightFirst grants are due no later than 90 days prior to the start of the SightFirst Advisory Committee meetings, which take place in January and August. Click here to view the next application deadline.

Materials for SightFirst grants:

Recent SightFirst grants include:

Mali, District 403-A1
A US$744,660 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 403-A1 (Mali) for the continued support of the Institut d’Ophthalmologie Tropicale d’Afrique (IOTA) eye health personnel training program in Bamako, Mali. The grant will support the training of six ophthalmologists and 40 ophthalmic nurses from across francophone West Africa over five years.

Kenya, District 411-A
A grant of US$604,459 was awarded to the Lions of District 411-A (Kenya) to support the establishment of four vision centers in Makueni, Nakuru, Machakos, and Meru counties. The grant intends to train 800 community health workers in eye care and provide refresher trainings to four ophthalmic clinical officers. Additionally, the project will provide 72,000 individuals with comprehensive eye care services, prescribe spectacles to 21,250 adults and children, and to counsel 16,875 diabetics on diabetes management. The project will be implemented over three years.

Uganda, District 411-B
A three-year grant of US$320,633 was awarded to the Lions of District 411-B (Uganda) to implement Uganda’s first diabetic retinopathy screening and treatment program. The project will equip one tertiary-level eye hospital with diabetic retinopathy diagnostic and surgical equipment. Furthermore, one ophthalmologist will receive vitreoretinal sub-specialty training in India, and five new ophthalmic clinical officers and 16 new ophthalmic nurses will be trained. It is also expected that 10,000 diabetics will be screened for diabetic retinopathy, of which 775 will have their diabetic retinopathy treated.

India, District 321-D 
A US$7,500 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 321-D. This grant will support the Manpower and Management training of one ophthalmologist, one optometrist, and one administrator at the Lions Arvind Institute of Ophthalmology (LAICO).

India, District 323-D1
A US$27,830 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 323-D1. The supplementary request will support the August 2017-awarded grant, SFP1917/323-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 supplemental request will support the hospital upgrade in the procurement of one green laser.

India, District 323-C
A US$108,670 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 323-C to support the upgradation of comprehensive eye care services at the new, permanent facility of Lions Eye Hospital, Parasia. The grant is projected to increasethe number of cataract surgeries from 1,505 to 2,520 over three years.

India, District 321-D
A US$145,158 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 321-D  to upgrade comprehensive eye care services at Lions Eye Hospital, Adampur Doaba over a three year period. The grant is projected to increase the number of outpatient department services, outreach camps, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma services, and uncorrected refractive error screenings and treatments. The grant will also support the training of two ophthalmologists in glaucoma and medical retina, as well as the training of one technician in the maintenance of medical equipment.

United States of America, Illinois, District 1-J
A US$210,000 grant was awarded to the Lions of District 1-J (Illinois) to expand low vision services and low vision rehabilitation equipment to patients at the Spectrios Low Vision Institute. The grant is projected to increase the number of patients receiving low vision care by 26% over a three year period and plans to accomplish these goals through marketing campaigns, facility expansion, and equipment upgrades.

Bolivia, District S
A US$422,791 grant was awarded to the Lions of District S to establish a comprehensive eye care in two major cities within the country. The project aims to address basic eye care needs and implement eye care education and awareness campaigns for vulnerable communities throughout Oruro and El Alto. During the next two years, this grant is projected to address a void in basic care and service delivery; additional assistance from the Ministry of Health, aims to replicate services nationwide.

Mexico, District B 1
A US$122,924 grant was awarded to the Lions of District B 1 to expand service deliveries throughout the city of Obregon and its surrounding areas. The yearlong project aims to upgrade surgical equipment and train medical personnel, as well as increase the number of outreach brigades into rural communities with the intention of providing basic eye care.

For information about previously approved grants, please contact the Sight Programs department,