Fighting blindness, poverty and gender inequality in Bangladesh

January 2018

Thanks to our amazing supporters and our partnership with the Qatar Fund for Development and the Grameen foundation (through Qatar Creating Vision) – we’re excited to tell you about the recently opened Singra Vision Center in Bangladesh.

The center is managed by three hard-working eye health professionals. The big difference with other centers? They are all women.

Minufa, Kalpona and Rumpa are able to provide access to medical training and treatment for other women in the area. Their hard work and dedication encourages women to seek treatment for their vision loss – something of particular encouragement to those who would be reluctant to seek care from male health workers.

Eye doctor Minufa Khatum from Bangladesh, wearing a blue niqab, stares at the camera

Minufa is paying for her brother's education

"I wanted to serve my community and I like learning new skills. Since my father passed away, I decided to work to help support my family. By working, I can help support my younger brother’s education."

Minufa Khatum, 24

Opened in August 2017 the Singra vision Center uses the Grameen Social Business Model making it a ‘social business’ whose goal is to promote social needs rather than pursue profit.

While the vision center does seek enough revenue to cover its costs it will only seek payment from those that can afford it. Those unable to contribute anything will still receive the same treatment free of charge.

The vision center plays a key role raising awareness of eye health in the community and referring women to hospital for surgery and treatment. Those referred from the center also receive free or reduced cost treatment.

Eye Doctor.

Rumpa refers around 50 people every two weeks for cataract surgery

“There is a lack of awareness in the community around eye health and the need to seek treatment to prevent vision impairment and blindness. Often people wait too long to seek care and its difficult for them to travel far distances to visit hospitals. Every two weeks, we refer approximately 50 people to the hospital for cataract surgery."

Rumpa 26

A big thank you to Minufa, Kalpona and Rumpa for all their hard work and dedication to help fight avoidable blindness in communities.

And a big thank you to our supporters and partners who make centers like this possible.

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