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Lions Eye Institute

In 1970, Lions Clubs in Western Australia formed the Lions Save Sight Foundation (WA) Inc to lead the development of world-class ophthalmic care.

The Lions Eye Institute was created in 1983 and today features a large team of clinicians, medical professionals, researchers and support staff.

The Lions Eye Institute (LEI) is a not-for-profit centre of excellence that combines world class scientific research into the prevention of blindness with the highest level of eye care delivery.

The vision is clear – to prevent and cure blindness and eye disease.


LEI incorporates one of Australia’s largest ophthalmic practices, including a Day Surgery Unit and a Laser Vision Centre.  The LEI also houses the Lions Eye Bank, Lions Optics, Lions Outback Vision and the Lions Save-Sight Foundation WA.

The LEI high-quality care for more than 50,000 patients each year including many from south-east Asia. In 2019, the LEI and two leading Indonesian universities formed an MOU to facilitate joint eye research and an exchange program of clinicians and researchers with the Royal Perth Hospital. 

One of the great outcomes from the ongoing work with Indonesia includes the ‘Virna’ – a revolutionary glaucoma drainage device which is now being used to save the sight of thousands of Indonesians. 

Developed by young Indonesian ophthalmologist Dr Virna Oktariana and Professor Bill Morgan, MD of the LEI, the Virna is a tube implanted in the eye that drains away fluid and relieves intraocular pressure – a frequent cause of glaucoma. This device can be manufactured in Indonesia for around US100 – substantially cheaper that conventional treatments which cost around ten times more. 

Current LEI clinical trials include:

  • dry macular degeneration
  • genetic eye disease
  • myopia
  • epidemiology of eye disease
  • oculoplastics and orbit

Find out more about our many Foundations here!




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