4 October, 2023
World Sight Day
WORLD Sight Day – October 12 – is an annual day of awareness held on the second Thursday in October.
This day gives worldwide attention on vision impairment and blindness.
To mark the occasion this year, and to increase the awareness that 90 per cent of vision loss is preventable or treatable, Lions clubs worldwide will promote and encourage the need for regular eye sight testing – particularly for people over the age of 40.
This will be done through the clubs’ Lion Eye Health Program (LEHP).
At their International Convention in 1925 the famous advocate of the blind, Helen Keller (blind herself) challenged Lions clubs to become “Knights for the Blind.”
It was a challenge readily accepted and Lions became foremost in save sight programs worldwide, not only directly but also in support of research and the work of many other organisations.
Since 1990 Lions International has contributed more than $382 million supporting 1427 save sight programs in 118 countries including 9.7 million cataract surgeries, the development of 1372 eye clinics and training centres.
Around 2.4 million professional and community care people have been trained – and the project has also assisted in the supply of millions of doses of essential trachoma and onchocerciasis (river blindness) drugs.
Your local clubs have not been idle, with numerous eye screening programs both for adults and children, distribution of information, and even the collection of used spectacles.
The latter program that has been operating for over 30 years has provided many thousands of donated used spectacles to the Lions primary centre in Queensland where lenses are re-ground and distributed to needy areas in both Australia and overseas.
And one of your local clubs is well recognised as one of the highest achievers in the detection of eye sight problems in children.
The Warrnambool Lions Club has almost completed its annual eyesight screening of school children for the current school year.
This Lions Eye Health Program (L.E.H.P) is facilitated by an enthusiastic Warrnambool team and is in its third year and has involved schools in Warrnambool and district, often proving life-changing for some children.
Many potential eye-sight problems detected in a child can usually be quickly and easily rectified where, had the issue remained undetected, may have resulted in serious problems and even blindness in later life.
The Warrnambool effort is recognised and applauded by schools right across the district.
The Warrnambool club is certainly one of the leading clubs in this very worthwhile and successful program.