The Eye Foundation of America announced today, that its $1 million, “100,000 Lives” campaign has reached an early milestone through the development of a diabetic diagnostic mobile unit housed with the latest in innovative diagnostic technology.
The “100,000 Lives” campaign is raising money needed for the Foundation’s 2014 effort in hopes of reaching more than 100,000 people with diabetes in rural India who are at risk for, or may already be suffering from diabetic retinopathy — a condition that often leads to blindness if left untreated. Studies have shown that if diabetic retinopathy is detected and treated early, blindness can be averted up to 90 percent of the time.
Dr. V. K. Raju, founder and medical director of the Eye Foundation of America, said, “The Foundation was able to quickly develop early campaign success, reaching close to a $100,000 in donations, in order to begin efforts to carry out this latest initiative.”
Donations are coming in from organizations and from personal philanthropists. The Eye Foundation of America got a major gift from the Heart and Hand of the Handicapped (HHH of NJ-NY).
Mr. Jay Reddy, President of the Eye Foundation of America said, “Prevention is becoming one of our primary goal’s here at The Eye Foundation. The 100,000 lives campaign demonstrates the foundation’s commitment toward a preventative approach as it includes teaching and screening for diabetic retinopathy.”
The Eye Foundation has already made funds available for a diabetic diagnostic van that houses new technology. Part of the technology includes the RETeval® by LKC Technologies.
James J. Datovech, President of LKC Technologies explains, “LKC is pleased to support Dr. Raju and his use of the RETeval device for diabetic retinopathy screening in India. This small, portable, easy to use, hand-held, non-invasive device immediately identifies those whose sight is at risk allowing Dr. Raju and his staff to take the interventions necessary to preserve their sight.”
“LKC provided an invaluable in-kind donation. LKC’s support and the generosity of others have given us a tremendous boost,” said Dr. Raju. “With the realization of our first van, plus our first donation-milestone reached, we can now begin dealing with the massive amount of logistics that are involved with a care and treatment program of this magnitude. While we are very thankful for this early success, we know that raising the remaining funds will require significant effort,” Dr. Raju said.
Mr. Reddy notes that, “As we expand our footprint, it is important for our donors to know that they are indeed helping individuals to avoid a lifetime of blindness. Certainly, a $25,000 donation toward the 100,000 Lives Campaign helps significantly toward our major endeavor to screen and treat in an effort to prevent blindness among diabetics. However, just as important is a $20 donation to help children avoid blindness.”
As Dr. Raju comments further, our hearts are warmed when we hear of a child who has donated $20 to help children in developing countries that they don’t even know. We estimate that a child that donates $20 to our cause actually helps 200 children escape avoidable blindness for a year as vitamin A tablets are given twice a year for only about a nickel a piece.”
At this time, the foundation is running two tremendously important campaigns simultaneously, both the 100,000 Lives Campaign for Diabetics and the Children’s Avoidable Blindness Initiative. To donate to the cause please visit: http://www.eyefoundationofamerica.org.
This coming January Dr. Raju will return to India. He is extremely pleased that the immediate past president and the incoming president of the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO) have accepted an invitation to join him, along with many others, at the official launch ceremony of the 100,000 Lives Initiative.