Blindness, specially related to cataracts, poses a major challenge all over the developing world. Bangladesh, as one of the developing countries, has a large number of blind requiring cataract removal surgery. Cataract accounts for 80% of adult blindness in the country and there are currently somewhere in the region of 550,000 to 750,000 adults who are blind as a result the prime cause of blindness is the cataract.
Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens – the part of the eye responsible for focusing light and producing clear, sharp images. A cataract occurs when the crystalline lens of the eye becomes cloudy or opaque as a result of age, illness, or trauma. This cloudiness can interfere with the eye’s natural ability to direct light and focus an image on the retina. As a result, individuals with cataracts frequently experience a loss of vision. Cataract surgery is the removal of the lens inside the eye after it has become cloudy. In most cases, the cataract surgeon replaces the cloudy natural lens with an artificial lens implant (also called an intraocular lens, or IOL) to restore vision and eliminate the need for thick glasses after surgery.
Blindness due to cataract presents an enormous problem in Bangladesh in terms of economic loss and social burden. Although cataract blindness is curable by cataract removal surgery there are many barriers for it for the disadvantaged people of Bangladesh. Such as financial reasons, distance from the health care facility, fear, lack of service awareness, lack of support. Financial barriers continue to be the major reason for the cataract blind to have the cataract removal surgery. So for many people in Bangladesh who becomes cataract blind may remain blind for the rest of their life, becoming burden for the family and the society.
Touching Souls International is an international non profit organization which provides free cataract removal surgery and post cataract surgery care for the disadvantaged people of Bangladesh as one of their many projects. They provides eye camp in different districts of Bangladesh where initially more than thousand patients are screened for their cataract in each camp. From there up to sixty cataract blind patients can be selected for surgery.
These patients are then taken to BNBS Eye Hospital in Mymensingh to get the cataract surgery treatment. They stays in the hospital for 2 days. on the 3rd day they are transported back to their original destination. That’s how the cataract blinds with real need are getting the free service from Touching Souls International and getting their eyesight back. The goal of Touching Souls International’s Sight Restoration and Blindness Prevention Project is to eradicate curable blindness for the disadvantaged cataract blinds in Bangladesh.