Sydney, Australia, June 28, 2010 – Lions Clubs International Foundation announces a new partnership program with the Bausch + Lomb Early Vision Institute. The partnership program will be formally launched during the Lions Clubs International Convention in Sydney, Australia during the first plenary session on Wednesday, June 30. Representatives from the Bausch + Lomb Early Vision Institute will join Lions Clubs International Executive Officers in announcing the new partnership program aimed at treating pediatric cataract.
The Pediatric Cataract Initiative will seek out and fund innovative, replicable programs to prevent and treat cataract in infants and children and promote early childhood vision screenings. Bausch + Lomb is contributing US$350,000 in the pilot year to launch the partnership program. The Pediatric Cataract Initiative will utilize the resources of both organizations to identify, fund and promote innovative methods of overcoming this challenge for the long-term benefit of children, their families and their communities.
“Lions Clubs International Foundation remains committed to saving the sight of millions of people worldwide,” said Al Brandel, Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation. “We’re excited about the prospects of the Pediatric Cataract Initiative and this new partnership with the Bausch + Lomb Early Vision Institute.”
Pediatric cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens in children. Left untreated, it quickly becomes a critical cause of childhood vision loss and blindness. This new partnership program will help treat and prevent pediatric cataract.
“Too many newborns afflicted with pediatric cataract have a lifetime of vision loss and blindness ahead of them – an untenable prospect in today’s world,” said Paul Sartori, corporate vice president, Bausch + Lomb. “With more funding and attention placed on research, prevention and treatment, we’ll be making an impact in the lives of children worldwide.”
The rate of pediatric cataract in Australia and other developed nations is one to four children per 100,000 births. However, in underserved countries, the rate can be 10 times greater. As such, during its first year, the Initiative will primarily focus on aiding children within China, where an estimated 40,000 children suffer from pediatric cataract.
For additional information, visit www.PediatricCataract.org.
About Lions Clubs International Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the largest service club organization in the world with 1.35 million members in 206 geographic areas and countries. LCIF was ranked by a Financial Times' study as the number one non-governmental organization with which to partner. The LCIF SightFirst program, Lions’ flagship initiative, builds comprehensive eye care systems to fight the major causes of blindness and care for blind and visually impaired persons. Since 1990, the SightFirst program has helped restore sight to more than 30 million people around the world, having invested US$237 million in surgeries, the improvement of hundreds of eye care facilities and training of thousands of eye care professionals. For more information, visit www.lcif.org.
About the Bausch + Lomb Early Vision Institute
The Bausch + Lomb Early Vision Institute is a program of the global eye health company focusing on children’s vision research, treatment, prevention and advocacy. Founded in 1853, Bausch + Lomb is one of the best-known and most respected healthcare brands in the world, with its contact lenses and solutions, ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, and ophthalmic surgical products available in approximately 100 countries. For more information, visit www.bausch.com.