by Staff Correspondent, Dhaka;
Bangladesh has established 45 more community vision centers, raising the number of such facilities in the rural vicinity to 135 to cater free of cost eye care for the poor and marginalized people.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday opened the centers at Upazila Health Complexes in 13 districts.
The government has a plan to establish vision centers at every Upazila Health complexes across the country to bring the entire population under the modern eye treatment system.
The centers are equipped with basic eye care ability having trained nurses for this job supported by teleconsultation with ophthalmologists.
The vision technicians offer the services like dispensing spectacles and medicines as per e-prescription from ophthalmologists, and those requiring cataract surgeries or advanced care are referred to the hospital.
Bangladesh has adopted a structured approach to train general nurses as vision technicians, in order to address the shortage of trained eye care professionals in rural areas.
Eye care services provided by the government, private hospitals, and local and international non-governmental organisations are mostly urban based as of now. The access of the rural people to the facilities is still inadequate in Bangladesh.
The current cataract surgical rate is 1,950 while the rate needed to address the backlog as well as new (incident) cases is estimated at 6,000, according to a study published in the International Eye Health Journal.
The Cataract Surgical Rate (CSR) is defined as the number of cataract operations done per million population per year, the journal says.
Inaugurating the eye care centers along with an AL office in Chittagong, the Prime Minister said her government is trying the best to change the fate of the people.
Hasina said her party never thinks what it gets by working for people rather it considers what they could do for people’s welfare.
“We made a huge change to Bangladesh and its people’s fates in the last 14 years as we always think what we could do for the people,” she told the audience through videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka.