Good eyesight is essential for safe driving as poor vision can impair driving performance. With that in mind, Junior Chamber International (JCI) Dhaka West arranged an awareness event under ‘Project Vision’ for the second time. This platform organised a free eye camp in April at Saydabad bus terminal, Jatrabari, Dhaka serving more than 1200 professional bus drivers, helpers, and workers. Participants went through proper surveys, eye checkups, consultations with doctors, and were subsequently prescribed treatment. A team of 30 doctors and medical assistants were present from Fashion Eye Hospital and National Institute of Ophthalmology. They provided proper eye tests, medicines and glasses for the target group. Participants, who need eye surgeries, also received this fully subsidised service from JCI Dhaka West. The 2019 Local President of JCI Dhaka West, Abdullah Safi, spoke at the programme.
According to the reports by Bangladesh Passengers Welfare Association (BPWA), 7,221 people have died in road accidents across the country in 2018. Despite last year’s massive nationwide road safety movement, the country has continued to witness a large number of road accidents. 7,397 people lost their lives in 4,979 road accidents throughout Bangladesh in 2017, while another 16,193 were injured. Their data further shows that 6,055 people died and 15,914 were injured in 4,312 accidents in 2016. In 2015, a total of 8,642 people died and 21,855 people were injured from 6,581 accidents across Bangladesh. Bus drivers are an underserved demographic when it comes to healthcare, particularly regarding vision. JCI Dhaka West researched by surveying bus drivers and relevant workers to assess their vision and eye health, yielding concerning results. The eye camp was the first intervention and was received positively at the bus terminal, with drivers lining up for hours to get their eyes checked.
JCI is a worldwide organisation of young professionals and leaders between the ages of 18 to 40 who are dedicated to creating positive changes in their communities. The organisation is established in over 120 countries and has a membership of 200,000 across the world. Their mission is to contribute to the advancement of the global community by providing opportunities for young people to develop their leadership skills, social responsibilities, fellowships, and entrepreneurial skills. The JCI Headquarters is in St Louis, Missouri, USA. JCI Dhaka West is a chapter of JCI Bangladesh. ‘Project Vision’ aims to raise awareness of the importance of vision care through such interventions with the goal of reducing road accidents, injuries, and other critical aspects affected by vision issues. It is a signature project of JCI Dhaka West.
The event was patronised by Sohoz Rides, Fashion Optics Limited, BNO BRAC Bondstein Technologies Limited and NexParc. SWDP, ICE Today and Radio Foorti were also partners. In the next phases of the project, JCI Dhaka West hopes to focus on other underserved demographics where vision plays a vital role.