ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On May 12, 2011, representatives from Bausch + Lomb and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) awarded the Tianjin Eye Hospital a $150,000 grant to finance a specialized pediatric cataract training initiative. The grant is made possible through the Pediatric Cataract Initiative (PCI), which identifies, funds and promotes innovative methods for overcoming visual impairments caused by pediatric cataracts.
“Today there may be as many as 40,000 children in China suffering from pediatric cataract, a condition that is treatable, and in some cases, preventable,” said Joe Barr, O.D., M.S., F.A.A.O, vice president, Global Clinical and Medical Affairs and Professional Services, Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb. “This grant continues Bausch + Lomb’s commitment to China; helping people to see better — to live better. We hope that this grant will enable Tianjin Eye Hospital to provide much-needed training and treatment in the region, so that together we can improve patient health, outcomes and quality of life.”
Eberhard J. Wirfs, chairperson of LCIF adds, “This partnership allows us to further our efforts at improving eye care in an underserved area of the world where so many children suffer long-term vision problems or permanent blindness as a result of pediatric cataract.”
The $150,000 grant will be used for:
Training and education
- Train the region’s pediatric and cataract ophthalmologists on the treatment and follow-up care of pediatric cataract
- Educate parents and other healthcare workers in the region about pediatric eye diseases and fund continuing education for Tianjin’s pediatric cataract surgeons
- Purchase portable retinoscopes and slit lamps needed for training programs and pediatric cataract surgeries
- Physicians and resident physicians at Tianjin Eye Hospital will train staff at Tianjin Maternal & Child Health Care Centers to screen for pediatric cataract
“Every aspect of a child’s life – from learning ability and classroom performance to friendships and self-confidence – is affected by their vision. Through this partnership, we hope to be able to provide the treatment and follow-up care necessary to prevent infant vision loss or blindness caused by cataracts, and to better the lives of China’s children and their families,” said Dr. Tang Xin, president of Tianjin Eye Hospital.
The Bausch + Lomb/Lions Clubs global initiative represents an ongoing commitment to improving childhood cataract outcomes. Earlier this year, PCI also issued two $50,000 research grants. The first grant was awarded to the Lumbini Eye Institute to conduct cataract-focused research in western Nepal. The second was to the Calabar Teaching Hospital to investigate the causes and effects of childhood blindness in Nigeria. In the coming months, PCI will continue to fund additional cataract-focused research projects and vision research initiatives around the globe in an ongoing effort to combat the issue of childhood blindness.
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.
About Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)
Lions Clubs International Foundation is the grant-making body of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest volunteer service club organization. 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. Lions have raised more than $415 million to provide surgeries, to improve of hundreds of eye care facilities and train of thousands of eye care professionals. For more information, visit www.lcif.org.