(PRESS RELEASE) JACKSONVILLE, FL AND SANTA ANA, CA — Johnson & Johnson Vision, a global leader in eye health and a member of Johnson & Johnson MedTech**, and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF), a leader among international voluntary humanitarian organizations, today announced the 20th anniversary of Sight For Kids, an association co-founded program aimed at closing the gap in access to eye care by providing comprehensive eye care services to children in low-income and underserved communities. To mark the occasion, Johnson & Johnson Vision and LCIF will showcase the power and impact of healthy vision over the past 20 years through 20 stories of people who have experienced that impact firsthand – with one eye turned. Towards the Future and Life Sight For Children will continue to change globally.
“Healthy eyesight is essential for a child’s academic performance, self-esteem and general well-being, but too often they don’t have access to eye care to diagnose and treat vision problems. , whether for financial reasons or a lack of resources in their community,” said Dr. Freddy Simon, an eye doctor in Kerala, India, who is an active participant in the Sight For Kids program. “These children have their whole lives ahead of them. , and by helping their vision through Sight For Kids, we can have a meaningful impact now that will continue into the future, from their studies to their careers.”
Founded in 2002 to address inequalities in eye care for children – of the 312 million children under 19 with myopia, half of the cases go undetected and untreated1 – Sight For Kids is now the largest known school eye health program in the world, having served more than 42 million children in Asia, Africa and most recently the United States since the program’s inception.
In 2021, the program expanded to the United States, working with the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision Program, a division of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, to serve students in Miami-Dade, Broward, St. .Lucie and Palm Beach, with the objective of carrying out 20,000 screenings in the first year.
“To create healthy sight for life, we need to start in childhood – and healthy sight means more than just the ability to see clearly, but also how we interpret the world around us, socialize and learn,” said Peter Menziuso, Company Group Chairman, Johnson & Johnson Vision.*** “But not all children have access to basic eye care services, which is why we’ve partnered with the Lions Foundation Clubs International 20 years ago to create Sight For Kids. It has been remarkable to see the difference our teams, partner educators and eye care professionals have been able to make across Africa and Asia, and I am so proud that we are expanding our commitment to children in need. in the USA.
Sight For Kids is one of the longest running programs of its kind and provides teachers with training to provide eye health education, perform vision testing and screen for common eye conditions.
Students identified with potential visual impairment or eye conditions are referred to health care providers for further evaluation, all at no cost to the family. To date, 200,000 teachers have been trained and over 500,000 free pairs of glasses have been provided to underserved children.
“It’s amazing to think back to the past 20 years and all the people who have come together, both in the communities Lions serve and in our organizations, to give more than 42 million children the gift of good eyesight and the resulting social inclusion. at the same time,” said Dr. Jung-Yul Choi, president of Lions Clubs International Foundation. “Hearing the stories from around the world of how Sight For Kids is changing lives is inspiring, and I look forward to seeing the impact the program can have over the next 20 years and beyond. “
Learn more and follow us as we share impactful stories from the past 20 years on Twitter @JNJVision, on Facebook @JNJVision, on the Johnson & Johnson Vision LinkedIn page and on the Corporate Social Responsibility page.