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.
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.
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.