29 September 2016
The News Editor
Press Release

Lions World Sight Day Aims to Educate Millions Worldwide

The World Health Organization has estimated that the number of blind people in the world could double in the next 25 years.

In Singapore, to combat the leading causes of preventable blindness, the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), the nation’s largest public eye-care institution is partnering Anchorvale and the Sengkang districts, Lions SaveSight Centre (Singapore) and  Voluntary Welfare Organisation (VWO): Lions Clubs International District 308-A1 Singapore - to mark the Lions World Sight Day on Sunday, 2 October 2016, 9am-3pm, Anchorvale Community Club.

The aim is to increase awareness among the public through General and Diabetic Eye Screening arranged by the above, from Community Clubs and other grassroots organizations in Sengkang. SNEC will screen about 500 residents at the event

Dr Lam Pin Min, Minister of State for Health and Member of Parliament for Sengkang West is the Guest of Honour.

Diabetic Retinopathy is the top cause of blindness among working-age adults in Singapore, causing an estimated 600 people to be totally blind and over
8,000 to lose their sight in one eye, according to a study by SNEC and the Singapore Eye Research Institute in 2011-2014 (please see attached Straits Times news report in May 2015)

With Singapore having an estimated 600,000 diabetics aged 18 to 69, this means about 180,000 have the eye condition and only 30,000 have been diagnosed.

It found that 11 per cent of diabetics and 83 per cent of those with DR were undiagnosed. There are no symptoms in the early stages of DR. Nine in 10 of those who did not know they had DR were aware they were diabetic, with most receiving treatment for diabetes.

The study also turned up 212 people who have had the diabetic eye condition for so long that they were at high immediate risk of going blind, and had to be given immediate treatment.

Collaboration Between SNEC and Lions Singapore In Preventing Blindness

This is the 8th year of collaborative programmes among SNEC, Lions SaveSight Centre (Singapore), Lions Clubs International District 308-A1 Singapore and grass-roots organizations

Through this annual programme about 4,000 seniors have been screened since 2008. The collaboration aims to bring eye screenings to the door step of residents. The screenings have been conducted in Ang Mo Kio, Eunos, Kembangan and Sembawang districts in previous years

Today alone, about 500 seniors aged 45 and above will receive eye checks for age- related eye conditions such as Cataract, Glaucoma and Diabetic Retinopathy for those who are not currently seeing an eye doctor.

As one gets older, age –related eye conditions are more likely to occur.  To monitor vision changes, one should get a baseline eye disease screening when he or she is in her 40s  and ask the doctor to assess how often you need to return for follow-up screenings.  

SNEC’s annual programmes include reaching out to the community in various aspects of eye care, be it through community eye screening and educational talks. Lions Clubs of Singapore and Lions Clubs International have established eye care and preventive blindness especially for the needy, among their main programmes.

So in many ways, the community efforts of the SNEC and Lions preventive blindness programmes complement one another. This synergy coupled with Lions network and spirit of volunteerism amongst its members would make extend the reach of these programmes and make them more effective.  This in turn would provide for a possible cooperation of public sector and VWO providing primary eye care services to the needy.

For further information, please contact

Ravi Chandran
Corporate Communications
Singapore National Eye Centre
for Lions World Sight Day 2016

Tel: 6322 8394
Mobile: 81218569
E-mail: ravi.chandran@snec.com.sg