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.

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

A young boy in Bangladesh having his eyes tested.

Bangladesh quadruples its eye care budget

The government of Bangladesh has set aside BDT828 million (£7.9 million) to spend on eye care by 2021 – four times higher than the previous budget.

A man stands beside a corrugated iron dwelling.
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A welcome step towards disability-inclusive disaster risk management

Bangladesh is one of the world's most hazard-affected countries, but there is a lack of disability-inclusive practice in all stages of disaster management.

Majidul having a cateract operation in Bangladesh

Sightsavers operation features in BBC video

A clip of seven-year-old Majidul having sight-saving surgery in Bangladesh is featured in a new video from BBC Worldwide’s Brit Lab channel on YouTube.

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