Lion Sight First of Madagascar (LSFM) is an association of 35 Lions Clubs and 18 Leos Clubs from Madagascar. Oliver Rabenjamina has served as President of the organization for ten years and has directed numerous projects to improve the sight and eye care for the poor in Madagascar. Under Olivier’s leadership, LSFM has exemplified that uniting efforts of Lion’s volunteers along with other agencies and government can indeed make a huge impact for good. His far-reaching vision and ability to solve problems has helped Madagascar’s government recognize that cataracts and other vision conditions are a public health concern. With Olivier’s patient and steady leadership, joint projects between LSFM, other NGOs, and the Ministry of Health are now in progress.
Oliver has overseen the efforts to develop both the LCFM Center in Antananarivo and the associated HJRA government teaching hospital into modern, efficient, and state-of-the art vision care facilities which focus on service to the needy. This has been accomplished with the help of donations from Latter-day Saint Charities and other iNGOs.
LSFM launched a Public Primary School Children Refraction Program for three years from 2016-2019 under Olivier’s direction. He helped in the development of a program for school teachers to screen the visual acuity of students. Kits were developed, assembled, and distributed throughout Antananarivo and its suburbs with equipment needed for teachers to accurately conduct visual acuity screenings in the classroom. A total of 22,780 school children from 170 schools in Antananarivo and suburbs were screened. Children who failed the visual acuity test were bused to LSFM Center for refraction and given unbreakable and scratch-resistant glasses. A total of 1,493 pairs of glasses were given to school children from lower income families.
In 2018, LSFM launched a joint Cataract Surgery Program in conjunction with the Lions Clubs International Foundation, non-governmental NGOs and the Ministry of Health of Madagascar, and by the end of 2019 a total of 82,047 cataract surgeries had been performed at no cost to patients. This well-organized program was outlined and accomplished under Oliver’s leadership and included surgeries performed at 50 public hospitals and private clinics. Quality controls ensured that patients received optimal care and follow-up and all consumables and supplies were provided free of charge.
Oliver exemplifies one who is an ardent advocate in reducing vision problems within Madagascar through thoughtful, innovative, and kind leadership which foments change and builds cooperation among partners.