7.5 Million people are blind in Bangladesh

Country’s nearly 7,50,000 people including 40,000 children are functionally blind while eighty percent of them are cataract patients who could be cured by minor surgery.

Approximately 150,000 have been suffering from fatal blindness while over six million need vision correction by spectacles and others means. This was revealed today by eye experts at a function at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) to mark the ‘World Sight Day 2010’ to be observed tomorrow across the country as elsewhere around the globe with the central theme of the ‘Vision 2020 as The Right to Sight’.

Vision 2020 recognizes that having sight is one of the fundamental human rights.

The National Eye Care Plan in collaboration with Sight Savers International, ORBIS International, Helen Keller International, CBM, Fred Hollow Foundation and the World Heath Organization (WHO) organized the function.

Director National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital
Professor Dr Deen Mohammad Noorul Huq presented the keynote at
the function.

He said approximately 40,000 children are blind in
Bangladesh of which 12,000 are due to cataract that can be cured
by surgery. Among the blind people, 80 percent live in rural
areas while 90 percent of the doctors live in cities or towns,
Prof Huq said.

National Eye Care Plan is working on increasing country’s
cataract surgical operation to 3000 from 1200 per million per
year through improving skill of ophthalmologists and making the
surgery easily available to the poor.

Cataract surgical rate per million per year is 2500 in
Pakistan, 4000 in India, 4500 in UK and 5000 in USA.

General Secretary of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA)
Prof Dr Sharfuddin Ahmed, program managers of National Eye Care
Prof Dr AIIM Enayet Hossain and Dr Zareen Khan, chairperson of
International NGO Imrul Hassan Khan, senior program manager of
ORBIS South Asia Dr Wahidul Islam, country director of Sight
Savers Bangladesh office and country director of CBM Shahnawaz
Quereshi were present on the occasion.

Oct 13 (BSS)

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