Thousands of Rohingya Refugees Access Vital Eye Care Thanks to Qatar Charity

Qatar Charity and Orbis are working together to provide much needed vision services to the Rohingya refugees and local host population in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. In one year, over 75,000 eye tests have been delivered, with over 18,000 surgeries undertaken, glasses prescribed, and medicines provided.

The two-year programme, funded by Qatar Charity, is strengthening the eye health network by supporting over 300 people to be trained, from frontline health workers to doctors and nurses. So far, more than 130 people have received crucial training, which will help drive those struggling with their vision to available treatment.

Bangladesh is a densely populated country of 160 million. Over sixty percent of the population live in rural, remote areas, including Cox’s Bazar, where this programme is based. Eye care services can be stretched as the majority of ophthalmologists are located within cities. With around 1 million refugees in the area, the further development and expansion of eye health services is vital, to serve both the local host community as well as the Rohingya population, many of whom have never had access to medical care before.

Earlier this year, the Rohingya community was further impacted by a fire, which broke out in Camp 11. The area is home to the Orbis and Qatar Charity supported Balukhali Vision Centre. All staff were unharmed, and the vision centre was not damaged by the fire. The facility remained open, continuing to provide care. Orbis and staff have been working with camp authorities to maintain contact with relocated patients at their new residences to ensure there is no disruption to service.

Mr. Yousuf bin Ahmed Al-Kuwari, CEO of Qatar Charity

CEO of Qatar Charity

We empha­size the impor­tance of the exist­ing part­ner­ship with Orbis to pro­vide eye health ser­vices for the mar­gin­al­ized. As part of our coop­er­a­tion that began in 2015 through eye care ini­tia­tives in Bangladesh, we look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing our work to con­tribute to deliv­er­ing high-qual­i­ty eye care ser­vices to vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in hard-to-reach areas, alle­vi­at­ing the suf­fer­ing of under­priv­i­leged patients, and rais­ing aware­ness about eye dis­eases in vul­ner­a­ble communities.”

Orbis and Qatar Charity have collaborated on a previous successful programme in Bangladesh, thanks to the generosity of donors from across Qatar. Between 2015 and 2020, more than a million people accessed eye health facilities to receive eye tests or treatments, and through the training of many new ophthalmologists and nurses, the number of surgeries in the programme area increased each year, totalling more than 48,000.

Rebecca Cronin

CEO of Orbis UK

We are grate­ful to be able to con­tin­ue our col­lab­o­ra­tion with Qatar Char­i­ty. Our part­ners have been work­ing hard and so many with sight loss have been seen and assist­ed through this fund­ing. The last few years have taught us that the needs of our part­ners can change very rapid­ly. COVID-19 has required the deliv­ery of ser­vices to evolve, which can put a strain on resources. It is through gen­er­ous sup­port­ers such as Qatar Char­i­ty, that Orbis is able to pro­vide our part­ners with train­ing and increased funds, so that they can adapt and deliv­er nec­es­sary eye care to many more peo­ple, pro­tect­ing their edu­ca­tions and livelihoods.”

As an organisation we have been transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for four decades. With a close network of partners, we mentor and train local eye care teams – from community workers to doctors and nurses – so that they can save and restore vision in their communities.

Close the modal
Sorry there was an error.
Try again