Six million Bangladeshis visually impaired: speakers
Over six million people in the country are visually impaired, as they barely have access to quality eye care, speakers at a programme said yesterday.
They were speaking at the launch of a global report by World Health Organization (WHO) at a Dhaka hotel.
International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), NGO Forum in Eye Health, and the National Eye Care Programme of the government jointly organised the event.
On October 8, 2019, WHO published its first ever world report on vision which said that globally, at least 2.2 billion people have vision impairments.
To address the problem, WHO recommended high quality research on health systems, monitoring progress of implementation, and raising awareness.
A meeting of Bangladesh National Council for the Blinds (BNCB) was also held, chaired by health minister Zahid Maleque.
Prof Golam Mostafa, director of National Institute of Ophthalmology, also the line director of National Eye Care under the directorate general of health services (DGHS), said in his keynote that there are around 7.5 lakh blind people in the country while the number of visually impaired people is over 60 lakh.
Speaking at the meeting, the minister said, “We are trying to make sure people have access to eye specialists.”
Urging members of BNCB to set the goal of setting up community eyecare centres in each upazila by this year, he said, “Money is no more a problem. We [government] would allocate fund for this.”