Representatives from the Bausch+Lomb Early Vision Institute and Lions Clubs International Foundation were in Australia this week to unveil The Paediatric Cataract Initiative. mivision was invited to interview the organisers from Bausch & Lomb and Lions Club when they made the announcement of the partnership on 29 June.
The Paediatric Cataract Initiative will utilise the resources of both organisations to identify, fund and promote innovative methods of overcoming this challenge for the long-term benefit of children, their families and their communities.
Dr. Lipika Roy, head of Asia-Pacific Medical Affairs, Bausch + Lomb said the key to successful paediatric cataract management is to recognise the condition between birth and 10 years old. “The child then needs to be taken to an optometrist or an ophthalmologist during this time period, so that the problem can be diagnosed and the child can be given the right treatment, whether this is a contact lens or glasses, or more importantly, surgery to remove the cataract.”
“It has to be a recipe of three things: one, treatment; two, the right timing and three, compliance to get a satisfactory visual result. If you do not do this in the right timeframe, you will not get a satisfactory result.”
The child then needs to be taken to an optometrist or an ophthalmologist during this time period, so that the problem can be diagnosed and the child can be given the right treatment…
The rate of paediatric cataract in Australia and other developed nations is one to four children per 100,000 births. However in developing countries like China, Latin America and Africa, this rate can be up to ten times higher. This is why the Initiative will be focusing on China in the first year, where at least 40,000 children suffer from paediatric cataract.
According to Mike McDougall, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Bausch + Lomb: “Through the preventative and treatment work we do in countries such as China, as well as the research element we believe there will then be the opportunity to apply this to other markets, including Australia and New Zealand. When we go out looking at research opportunities like this one, we don’t know what we’ll find, which is part of the appeal.”