Johnson & Johnson Vision announced the expansion of nonprofit program Sight For Kids. Co-founded in 2002, the program is a collaboration between the company and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) aimed at closing the gap in access to eye health for children in low income and underserved communities.
More than one billion people around the world are living with a vision impairment that is preventable or yet to be addressed, but don’t have access to eye care and potentially life-changing treatment.i Additionally, the number of people experiencing blindness and visual impairment globally is expected to double by 2030 unless corrective measures are taken with visual impairments already affecting 19 million children.ii, iii Children with early onset severe vision impairment often experience delayed motor, language, emotional, social and cognitive development.iv
“Vision plays a critical role in early childhood development—from how we learn to how we interact with one another. Every child deserves a chance to grow up seeing the world clearly,” Shlomi Nachman, Company Group Chairman, Cardiovascular Specialty Solutions Group and Johnson & Johnson Vision, said in a company news release. “At Johnson & Johnson Vision, we’re extremely proud to be able to partner with the Lions Clubs International Foundation to bring eye care to the children who need it most through ‘Sight For Kids.'”
“Sight For Kids” is the world’s largest-known school-based eye health program. For nearly 20 years, the program has provided eye health education and access for over 37 million students in underserved communities globally. This is the first expansion of the program into the U.S. and is designed to benefit students across four counties in South Florida.
In collaboration with the Florida Heiken Children’s Vision program, a division of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, the program will bring quality, comprehensive eye health services and treatment to students in low-income and underserved communities across Miami-Dade, Broward, St. Lucie, and Palm Beach counties. “Sight For Kids” will provide no-cost eye exams and glasses to students with a goal of reaching an estimated 20,000 children across South Florida in its first year. The exams will be in full compliance with COVID-19 safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Optometric Association.
“We’re thrilled to have partnered with Johnson & Johnson Vision nearly 20 years ago to provide comprehensive eye health services to children in need around the world,” said Gudrun Yngvadottir, Chairperson, Lions Clubs International Foundation. “The Sight For Kids U.S. program is yet another critical step in the right direction for many children who may otherwise have gone without eye care and treatment.”
In the just-released “Vision for Good” 2020 impact report, Johnson & Johnson Vision provides further information on its partnership with Himalayan Cataract Project, commitment to sustainability, progress in creating a more equitable and inclusive world, helping communities, and more.
i World report on vision. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2019. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
ii Keep an Eye on Your Vision Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/resources/features/keep-eye-on-vision-health.html. Accessed April 29, 2021.
iii Hiroven M, Ojala R, Korhonen P, et al. Visual and Hearing Impairments After Preterm Birth. Pediatrics. 2018; 142(2): e20173888. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/142/2/e20173888.full.pdf. Accessed April 29, 2021.
iv Blindness and vision impairment fact sheet. World Health Organization; 2021. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment. Accessed April 29, 2021.