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News Release


For Immediate Release

Lions Partner to Launch "Noor Dubai"

Oak Brook, Illinois, USA, September 3, 2008 - Lions Clubs International has partnered with government leaders in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to launch Noor Dubai, or Sight Dubai. Noor Dubai will treat and provide health services to one million people suffering from preventable blindness and visual impairment in developing countries on a local, regional and international scale.

The program was developed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid AL Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai as a month of service during Ramadan.

In addition to the UAE, Noor Dubai will reach out to people in a number of countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine.

Lions clubs members in 12 countries have held eye screening campaigns. Those who require cataract operations or corneal transplants will be treated in Dubai during September. Lions and opthalmologists from neighboring countries will travel to Dubai to provide follow up care, funded by the Dubai government and His Highness.

Speaking on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed said: 'Ramadan is indeed a month of generosity, charity and compassion. Let us all come together to collectively work to ensure Noor Dubai becomes another catalyst towards a bigger international commitment to cure eye diseases and protect children from preventable forms of blindness." 

In addition to treatment, Lions and the Dubai government are launching an educational campaign in 12 countries aimed at increasing awareness on the need for regular and timely treatment of eye disesases.

“Lions have long been champions of people who are blind and visually impaired. By better educating the public on the need for regular eye exams and timely treatment of eye diseases, we can end preventable blindness,” said Albert Brandel, Lions Clubs International President. "We are excited to partner with the government and other non-governmental organizations to launch a vision screening program in the United Arab Emirates."

Worldwide Lions are recognized for their service to the blind and visually impaired. Lions extend their commitment to sight through countless efforts, like their flagship SightFirst program. Launched in 1990, Lions have prevented vision loss for 30 million people around the world. The US$215 million initiative has trained eye care workers, built eye hospitals, provided equipment, supported treatments and surgeries and established eye care systems in countries that previously had none.

Lions have conducted a number of projects in the Middle East and Africa, including constructing eye hospitals, training eye health care workers, providing cataract surgeries and treatments, and establishing national eye care systems.

Lions recently concluded a three-year fundraising campaign to continue and expand the work of the SightFirst program. Lions surpassed their US$150 million goal, raising more than US$200 million for SightFirst initiatives around the world.

Lions Clubs International Foundation is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International. In July, LCIF was ranked the number one non-governmental organization worldwide by a Financial Times survey. The Foundation provides grants for large-scale Lions service projects around the world, including SightFirst projects.

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