10 February 2017

Ethiopia: Lion Club Gearing Up to Contagious Eye Diseases Eradication

Ethiopian Lion Club reaffirmed commitment to overcome societal challenges related to health during its centennial celebration here Wednesday.

World Lion Club International President Chancellor Bob Corlew said on the occasion that the club one hundredth anniversary would remind us to do more in our worldwide voluntary services. " We want to become the best known volunteer brand and organization in the world."

He noted that the club needs to develop new and innovative ways to engage people in humanitarian endeavors under the Lions' umbrella while achieving best in class service to clubs, district and our family of Lions.

Corlew pointed out that reshaping public opinion and improving awareness of the club, enhancing service impact and focus; improving membership value and reaching new markets and pursuing club, district and organizational excellence as the next four areas of strategic focus of the club.

Speaking at the event, Board of Trustees for Lions Club International Foundation and World Laureate Dr. Tebebe Yemane-Berhan said that Lion club has been working together with the government in the efforts to eradicate Trachoma and Measles as well as River Blindness across the country.

"Lions has so far performed over 65,000 cataract operations throughout nation."

Moreover, Dr. Tebebe said the club is working hard to achieve 2020 targets of interrupting transmission of River Blindness from the country and eliminating the disease by 2025.

At the event , Amhara State Health Bureau Head Dr. Abebaw Gebeyehu for his part said the State is highly vulnerable to Trachoma disease . Out of 600,000 fellow citizens are affected by Trachoma, only 400,000 have received medication and treatment .

"This fiscal year alone,110,000 people have had surgery for Trachoma. This figure has already broken the world record," he noted.

Through the Lions SightFirst Initiative, onchocerciasis program has experienced rapid expansion from just over 200,000 treatments in 2001 to over 15 million in 2015.

The cost of drugs distributed reached over 64.5 tablets million and estimated 82 million USD. Mass drug distribution has been used to reach communities with needy of treatments for eye onchocerciasis.

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