Bangladesh has one of the highest reported rates of untreated cataracts worldwide. In 2016, Sightsavers helped to screen 585,000 people for eye conditions, and supported  more than 41,000 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.

Sightsavers’ work is aligned with the UN’s Global Goals and directly contributes to achieving them. In this video, Bangladesh Country Director Ariful Islam explains how our advocacy work is helping to improve eye healthcare in the country.

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.

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

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More from 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.

A group of people riding on an uncovered autorickshaw in Bangladesh.
Sightsavers from the field

How you’re helping us restore sight in Bangladesh

Sightsavers’ Ella Pierce travelled to Bangladesh and met eight-year-old Suborna, who was in desperate need of a cataract operation. This is her journey.

The leaders of disability self-help groups in Bangladesh pose for a photo.

New alliance in Bangladesh promotes disability-inclusive development

The alliance, inaugurated in Dhaka, promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities as part of the country’s implementation of the Global Goals.

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