Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of untreated cataracts worldwide. In 2017, Sightsavers helped to screen more than a million people for eye conditions, and supported  more than 52,500 cataract operations.

Our work in Bangladesh

With a population of more than 161 million, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Yet extreme poverty and a lack of awareness about health issues mean it has one of the highest rates of untreated cataracts worldwide, with more than half a million people thought to be blind as a result.

Our work in Bangladesh focuses on screening people to diagnose eye problems, providing sight tests to check for refractive error, and supporting cataract operations to restore vision.

We also help to train volunteer community health workers, and run inclusive programmes to make sure people with disabilities have equal access to healthcare, education and employment opportunities.


Meet our Bangladesh Country Director

Ariful Islam has worked for Sightsavers since 2015. In this video, he explains how our advocacy work is helping to improve eye healthcare and achieve the UN’s Global Goals.

Nine-year-old Polok smiles with his mother at home after undergoing cataract removal surgery.

How we’re making a difference

Nine-year-old Polok from Bangladesh suffered from cataracts, which severely affected his vision, but his family didn’t know how to get him the treatment he needed. Polok’s cousin reached out to Sightsavers on Facebook, and our staff arranged for a field officer to visit Polok and examine his eyes. He was then referred for surgery to restore his sight. Read Polok’s story.

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More from Bangladesh

Surgical staff perform a cataract operation.
Sightsavers from the field

Watch cataract surgery condensed into one and a half minutes

During a recent trip to Bangladesh, we filmed a time-lapse video of a Sightsavers cataract operation taking place at Khulna BNSB hospital.

Ferdousi smiles as she touches her brother's face.

Bengali TV show shares Sightsavers’ success stories

The weekly programme, called ‘Shopno Dekhe Chokh’ (‘Eyes See the Dream’), tells the stories of people whose vision has been restored in Bangladesh.

Three-year-old Nadir from Bangladesh.
Sightsavers Reports

Nadir’s story

Three-year-old Nadir had cataracts in both eyes since birth, which severely affected his vision. But an operation restored his sight and changed his life.

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Where we work