DAY 3:
An eye examination for a school child in Bangladesh

Cataract

and how to tackle it

Zahidul can see again! Zahidul was 3 years old when his father discovered a white spot in his eye. For the "treatment", the village healer asked for a sum equivalent to two months' wages. The result: the stain remained, and the boy's whole body swelled up. Through professional and quick examination by an ophthalmologist it was found that Zahidul had a "cataract" in both his eyes. The clouded lenses were successfully removed in the eye clinic in Chittagong. Zahidul is a cheerful, bright child and a good student. What had he become, had he not had been examined and had surgery? An early eye examination is particularly important for children to prevent blindness from cataract.

Necessity

 

Prevention of blindness

Activity

 

Examine primary school children for eye diseases

Countable effort

After around 12 months

Number of tests conducted

Result

After around 3 years

Number of children that are prevented from an eye disease thanks to the vision tests

Systemic effect

After around 7 years

General reduction and prevention of eye diseases in Bangladesh

Background

According to current estimates there are 800,000 blind people in Bangladesh. Especially the poorest children are affected by blindness. Causes of blindness are, inter alia, malnutrition, primarily vitamin A deficiency, lack of treatment, lack of hygiene and education. However, the cataract is a problem that is easy to deal with, if it is recognized early enough and if children and parents know what to do against it. The organization maintains nine eye clinics nationwide.

The good deed

In a nationwide programme the organisation examines school children for eye diseases. An eye examination can prevent the risk of blindness for a child. Eye examinations in primary schools therefore play an important role in the early detection of eye diseases. The current vision screening programs of the "new generation" offered by the organization are on the spot and go a step further than their predecessors. Students who are recommended to wear glasses can receive those immediately.

Challenge

A particular challenge is to reach remote regions, far away from usual eye doctors and clinics. The ride in some cases is several hundred kilometers away from the doctors' offices or clinics.

About Bangladesh

Dhaka

Capital

152,518,015 (2012)

Number of inhabitants

818

Gross domestic product per capita per year

146

Human Development Index

The royal tiger or the Bengal tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh.