Through a grant from Lions Clubs International Foundation of the International Associations of Lions Clubs, along with local contributions from the four Lions Clubs in Belize, Government Ministries, Non-Government Organizations, and the local Business Community, the Lions Clubs in Belize will use Special Portable Eye Screeners to conduct a LIONS- Belize National Children Eye Screening Program.
The target groups will be children between the ages of 3 – 14 years, throughout Belize. Lions Clubs members and non-Lions volunteers will conduct the Eye Screening during the program that will commence in September 2015.
The Lions Clubs in Belize are committed to pay for the eye glasses for children who need them, and for whom it is determined that the parents/guardians cannot afford to pay for the eye glasses.
The Special Eye Screener is a portable, hand held equipment, which allows rapid, mass eye screenings. It takes just a few seconds to do the eye screening for each child. By producing a ‘pass’ or ‘referral’ reading for each child, the Eye Screener will make it possible to confidently assess eyesight problems. Hence, children who need vision corrections will be detected early, and will be able to see clearly.
Studies have shown that vision disability is the number one health issue in schools, which affect learning abilities. Research has shown that there is an overall improvement in school grades, in schools which have implemented a Comprehensive Vision Screening Program, and which also have proper follow up examinations and the provision of glasses for those in need of them.
Visiting Belize to assist with the training of the use of the Eye Screeners are Lion Dr. Edward Cordes, Lions Clubs International Past International Director and Head of the Lions Kid Sight USA, which is a Lions Clubs International USA Eye Screening Program, and Ms. Cyd McDowell, who is the President of Plus Optix, the company from which the Eye Screeners were bought.