Recycling our Screening Equipment

The Foundation has recently donated screening equipment which is no longer in use to the Australian Doctors for Africa.  ADFA has a commitment to effect significant change in health care and well-being in Ethiopia, Madagascar, Somaliland and the Comoros through the provision of overseas medical teams, teaching and training programs and in country support of infrastructure development. The screening equipment arrived in Hargeisa Somaliland in June this year and will be used at the Hargeisa Group Hospital. We are delighted our equipment is being used for such a good cause!

Brian King Fellowship

In early 2017, the prestigious Brian King Post-Doctoral Fellowship was awarded to Dr Carla Mellough to pursue her research into human retinal development and disease. She studied at the University of Western Australia and has spent the last 13 years in the United Kingdom and Spain. While overseas, Dr Mellough developed a method for making human retinal tissue in the laboratory. It is similar to growing a miniature version of the eye in a petri dish, which can be used as a tool to answer questions about human development and disease. This will help to identify therapeutic targets for currently untreatable forms of blindness, as well as generate useful cells for transplantation in patients requiring cell replacement.

The three year Fellowship is jointly funded by the Lions Eye Institute and the Lions Save-Sight Foundation. The LEI, which is affiliated with the University of Western Australia, is one of the largest multi-disciplinary eye research institutes in the world, receives funding from national and international funding bodies, and has a proven track record in the commercialisation of in-house intellectual property.

Dr Mellough said she was delighted with the opportunity to start an independent research career at the Lions Eye Institute. “There are very few other centres that have this concentration of clinicians, stem, retinal and cell biologists and an ideal infrastructure which provides the perfect environment for research of this nature,” she said. “The collaborative environment of the LEI is also extremely important to me.  We need to work together if we are to find a cure for blindness”.

Van Delivers on it’s Mission

LOVVThe Lions Outback Vision Van is back on the road to commence its second year of service.  Between February and June this year it has visited 18 communities, providing 970 consultations for a total of 45 clinic days.  The additional communities of Meekatharra, Warmun and Wyndham were included at the invitation of community after an assessment of need was undertaken.

One of the great things about the vision van is the ability to engage and connect with local communities and share the message about good health for healthy eyes.  This year the van staff have been working with community and local schools, presenting a program called LOV food.  In the past weeks since the launch on the 5 May 2017 LOV Food classes have been taught in 7 schools in the Pilbara and Kimberly (Derby, Kununurra, Broome, Port Hedland, Karratha), including over 300 students from Year 4 to Year 12.  Students are being taught information regarding eye health, diabetes blindness and basic nutritional information including sugar in the diet.