Emergency Grants Approved February 16-29, 2012:
5 Grants Approved, Totaling US$50,000

Bolivia, District S-1
US$10,000 for flood relief

Brazil, District LA-2
US$10,000 for flood relief

Ecuador, District G-1
US$10,000 for flood relief

Italy, District 108-A
US$10,000 for snowstorm relief

Malawi, District 412
US$10,000 for flood relief

Grants Approved at the January Lions Quest Advisory Committee Meeting: 10 Grants Approved Totaling US$382,345

Burkina Faso, District 403-A1 — The Lions of District 403-A-1 were awarded US$26,935 to introduce Lions Quest in four schools in the capital city. The grant will cover the translation of curriculum, promotion of Lions Quest to the community and training 20 to 25 teachers to implement the program in schools.

Guatemala, District D-3 — The Lions of District D-3 in Guatemala were awarded a US$15,000 grant to begin piloting Lions Quest, making this the first time that Lions Quest will be implemented in Guatemala. Lions will train 36 teachers through two workshops and the curriculum will be used in five schools. Around 1,438 students will be impacted.

Japan, District 332-D — The Lions of District 332-D were awarded US$25,000 to hold three Lions Quest workshops, training 75 teachers and benefiting 800 students. They will also hold two seminars and a follow-up workshop. The district will focus on establishing one model school, where all classes and grade levels will teach Lions Quest principles. The expansion of Lions Quest in this district is taking place in the Fukushima region, a hard hit area following the earthquake and tsunami last year.

Japan, District 336-C — The Lions of District 336-C were awarded US$25,000 to hold four Lions Quest workshops, training 100 teachers and benefiting 1,089 students. They will also hold two seminars. The district will focus on establishing three model schools, where all classes and grade levels will teach Lions Quest principles. The expansion of Lions Quest in this district is taking place in the Fukushima region, a hard hit area following the earthquake and tsunami last year.

Japan, District 337-B — The Lions of District 337-B were awarded US$25,000 to hold three Lions Quest workshops, training 75 teachers and reaching 686 students. They will also hold seven seminars. The district will focus on establishing one model school, where all classes and grade levels will teach Lions Quest principles.

Puerto Rico, Multiple District 51 — Through a US$100,000 grant, Lions in Puerto Rico Multiple District 51 will host 20 Lions Quest training workshops for teachers, training between 500 and 720 public school teachers to expand Lions Quest in Puerto Rico. Locally, six to eight trainers will also be trained to hold future workshops.

MD300 Taiwan — MD300 Taiwan was awarded US$100,000 to host six workshops, training 216 teachers. This will reach 1,080 students. The Lions will implement Lions Quest in schools where Leo Clubs are established or will soon be established. Local trainers will also be trained to make the program sustainable.

Uruguay, Multiple District J — A grant of US$30,000 was awarded to the Lions of Multiple District J to continue their work expanding Lions Quest in Uruguay. This grant will provide three workshops for teachers and one seminar for Lions members.

Maryland, USA, District 22-A — The Lions of District 22-A received US$24,000 to expand Lions Quest in Baltimore to help at-risk youth. This grant will support four workshops to train a total of 140 teachers, impacting almost 10,000 students. This expansion builds on previous success in District 22-A with implementing Lions Quest.

Minnesota, USA, District 5M-8 — A US$11,410 grant was awarded to train 36 teachers through a Lions Quest workshop in District 5M-8. Lions in this district have previously trained teachers in Lions Quest at the middle school level, and this grant will train elementary school teachers.

Grants Approved at the January SightFirst Advisory Committee Meeting: 16 Grants Approved Totaling US$5,731,646

Brazil, District LB-4 — The Lions of District LB-4 were granted US$216,000 to provide 4,000 cataract surgeries to bilateral cataract blind patients. The surgeries will take place at Lions Vision Institute in Cuiabá. Since 2001, the Lions of District LB-4 has helped facilitate 7,866 cataract surgeries through the SightFirst program.

Cambodia — US$126,690 was awarded to PreahAng Duong Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to upgrade the cataract and diabetic retinopathy components of its ophthalmology residency program. Essential teaching equipment will be purchased and additional retinal training will be provided in collaboration with the Cambodian Diabetes Association. In addition, a national training program will be developed in order to train ophthalmic providers in community eye care management techniques. Sixty eye care providers will be trained through this grant.

Cameroon, District 403-B — US$783,521 was awarded to Lions in District 403-B to continue their work towards an onchocerciasis (river blindness) control program nationwide. Lions clubs will help with planning, monitoring, community awareness and mobilization campaigns, as well as advocacy efforts. This project aims to distribute treatments to at least 82% of the eligible population, train or retrain 16,254 community drug distributors, 183 community supervisors at district and health centers levels and 777 medical personnel at referral hospitals and distribute more than 3.4 million treatments of Mectizan over a period of one-year.

China — US$1,750,000 was awarded in China to support the first phase of a national blinding trachoma elimination effort in China. This grant will provide support for the assessment and planning of this project, including training. Funds are also set aside for treatment for those found to have blinding trachoma during the assessment phase, as appropriate. The project partners are the Ministry of Health, China, and the local Lions clubs of China.  A previous grant in support of this effort was approved in May 2011.

China — US$736,000 was awarded to support the Multi-Sector Blindness Prevention Program in Liaoning Province, China. The grant provides support for a pilot initiative that will examine the linking up tertiary eye care centers to peripheral centers in nine counties in Liaoning Province. It is expected to demonstrate that high-quality eye care can be effectively provided to rural areas. Funds will be used for equipment, and eye care personnel training. The Ministry of Health, China, expects that the lessons learned from the pilot will be translated by the provincial government into action throughout Liaoning. The project partners are the Ministry of Health, China, and the local Lions clubs of China. A previous grant in support of this effort was approved in May 2011.

Cuba — A US$128,669 grant was awarded to the Cuban Society of Ophthalmology to purchase needed equipment to upgrade their Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) program at Ramon Pando Ferrer Hospital in Havana. The hospital is the national referral center for premature births and pediatric ophthalmology in Cuba and is linked to 24 eye care centers located throughout the country. This grant helps the hospital to screen up to 450 infants over a three year period for ROP, providing treatment as need.  In addition, the project will educate national health workers and parents of premature infants on ROP.

India, District 321-F — The Lions Club of Patran Nial in District 321-F received a US$52,040 grant to upgrade the eye hospital they established in 2009. The hospital will purchase diagnostic and surgical equipment and an outreach screening vehicle. Management and manpower training will be held for the hospital’s management team. Through this grant, the Lions Eye Hospital will increase its cataract output to 1,500 by 2014, as well as provide outpatient care to 15,000 patients.

India, District 323-A3 — US$700,958 was awarded to the ophthalmology department of the Bhakti Vedanta Hospital, just north of Mumbai, India. Working with the Lions Club of Juhu in District 323-A3, the hospital will construct and equip the Lions Ophthalmological Centre thanks in part to this SightFirst grant. Once completed, the ophthalmology department at Bhakti Vedanta will provide 9,000 cataract surgeries, 1,200 diabetic retinopathy treatments and 1,500 glaucoma surgeries by 2014.

India, District 324-D6 — A US$81,327 grant was awarded to Lions in District 324-D6 in India to upgrade the Lions Eye Hospital in Madanapalle. Through this grant, the hospital will increase its cataract surgical output to 5,000 by 2014. The hospital will double its capacity to treat patients, upgrade operating and diagnostic equipment and acquire a new vehicle that will enable the hospital to enhance its outreach efforts. The grant also provides for manpower and management training.

India, Multiple District 321-E — US$106,724 was awarded to the Lions of Multiple District 321-E and the All India Confederation of the Blind (AICB) for a vocational training and microloan program. AICB is an internationally recognized organization for the education and rehabilitation of the blind and visually impaired. Using a community based rehabilitation method, the Lions of Allahabad City and AICB will partner to provide vocational training to 500 irreversibly blind persons in Kaushambi District, Uttar Pradesh State. Small, interest free loans will be provided to 250 blind entrepreneurs to begin cottage industries in their homes, which will add to the financial well-being of their families and empower them as active, contributing members of the local economy. All loan repayments will be deposited into a revolving fund and made accessible to additional blind entrepreneurs who would like to start their own businesses. This is the first project of its kind and an exciting development for the SightFirst program.

Lebanon, District 351 — US$133,750 was awarded to District 351 to cover a range of surgical and outpatient equipment for the new operating theater at Tripoli Governmental Hospital. This hospital is located north of Beirut and specializes in the treatment and care of children born prematurely.  This grant will make possible over 600 cataract surgeries a year, and other interventions.  Additionally, prematurely born children suffering from retinopathy of prematurity will be able to have their condition treated within Tripoli Governmental Hospital with the help of the grant.

Madagascar, District 403-B — A US$670,567 grant was awarded to the Lions of Madagascar to help upgrade the ophthalmology department at a local university hospital and establish a vision satellite center. This grant will also support diabetic retinopathy services through equipment upgrades at major diabetic centers and training of 20 medical and eye care professionals on diabetic retinopathy and its complications. Finally, SightFirst support will make possible 10,000 cataract surgeries, 500 laser treatments for diabetic retinopathy, and training opportunities for over 1,500 nurses and health workers.

Paraguay, Multiple District M — US$108,000 was awarded to the Lions of Multiple District M in Paraguay to partner with Fundación Vision in Asunción. This partnership will conduct a cataract detection campaign and provide 2,000 surgeries to those who are bilateral, cataract blind. Fundación Vision is a non-profit hospital created in 1999 as an alternative to the public and private eye care services available in Asunción. This project will specifically target populations in the interior of the country that are unable to access affordable and quality eye care services due to economic, geographic and cultural barriers.

Peru, District H-1 — A US$71,900 grant was awarded to the Lions of District H-1 in La Libertad, Peru, to conduct a diabetic retinopathy screening and treatment campaign in collaboration with the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology (RIO). The RIO is the Peruvian Ministry of Health’s regional referral center for comprehensive eye care and is the only hospital in La Libertad that offers treatment for diabetic retinopathy. This project will provide 630 laser treatments to diabetic retinopathy patients.

Vietnam — US$50,000 was awarded to the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital and Sponsorial Association for Poor Patients to hold a cataract detection and treatment campaign in seven districts surrounding Ho Chi Minh City. The project will provide 1,100 surgeries and follow-up care for indigent bilateral cataract blind patients. Surgeries will take place at district hospitals with local staff.  The Lions of Thailand will provide managerial oversight of the project.

United Kingdom — US$15,500 was awarded in the United Kingdom to support the Chinese-language version of the Community Eye Health Journal. The Community Eye Health Journal seeks to bridge the information and knowledge gap that exists between eye care professionals in the developing and developed worlds, as well as to provide a forum where researchers from developing countries can publish their findings. It is available free of charge to 30,000 eye care professionals in 184 different countries. In China, thanks to previous SightFirst support, an estimated 6,000 eye care professionals received the journal in 2010. This new grant will continue this support for one extra year.