Vision Bangladesh

Nicky Morgan, Member of Parliament for Loughborough, led a team of volunteers to watch, support and help the work of BRAC and Sightsavers. These two organisations are making significant headway in their aim to tackle preventable blindness in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh.

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Working In The Villages

BRAC, a non-governmental organisation that has just celebrated its 40th anniversary, has built an extensive network of support across Bangladesh. Groups of villages are looked after by ‘Barefoot Doctors’, local health workers who provide health education . They are trained to detect and treat a wide range of illnesses and provide a doorstep service of over-the-counter medical sales. Representatives from Sightsavers travel around the countryside regularly checking for cataracts and other eye problems. The treatment is simple and cheap but the effect if left undiagnosed and...

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Cataract Camps

After the presence of cataracts has been identified by a health worker, villagers are sent to a camp that is set up on a regular basis in a nearby meeting place, often a council meeting hall. Qualified opticians will assess patients and refer those with treatable cataracts to the hospital, often to have them removed that day. Hundreds of people walked for miles to visit the camp that we joined. We arrived at lunchtime and ninety patients had already been sent to the hospital for operations. Other common ailments such as blockages of the tear duct can be identified at the camp. Blockages...

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5 Minutes To Change A Life

VARD Hospital outside Sylhet is a hive of activity. Referrals from the camps across the region come here to have their cataracts removed. The simple operation takes a few minutes, costs £27 to perform and gives people back their lives. The skills of the surgeons allow them to perform many operations each day, keeping them ahead of their target of eliminating preventable blindness in the region by 2013. Nicky Morgan and the team were able to follow a couple of people throughout the whole process, from being diagnosed as having cataracts, through to recovering from their removal operation. The...

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