The Financial Express

Many children in BD suffer from eyesight problems

| Updated: October 21, 2017 09:51:47

Many children in BD suffer from eyesight problems

Many children in the country are suffering from different eyesight problems mainly due to malnutrition, overuse of electronic-display devices and long stay in artificial light, experts have said.

Due to lack of proper treatment and care, three children become permanently blind and eventually become burden on the family and society, they added.

The experts also said many of these children can get rid of such problems and contribute to their families and the country's economy if proper and timely treatment is provided to them.

According to a study conducted by UK-based International Centre for Eye Health (ICEH), there were more than 40,000 blind children in Bangladesh more than a decade ago. Though no such study has been conducted in recent years, the problem is still prevalent, experts said.

Another survey has revealed that around 1.0 million Bangladeshi children below six years of age are the victims of nutritional blindness while more than 30,000 children fall victim to night blindness per year.

Taking this into consideration, a non-profit organisation called 'Light House' (LH) Trust is extending its support to underprivileged visually-impaired children.

When contacted, LH Trust officials said roughly two-thirds of visual impairment among children might be permanently cured or prevented, once proper treatment is provided to them.

Founder of LH Trust Dr Kazi Shabbir Anwar said common types of vision problems prevalent among the children are cataract and after-effects of other diseases. Cataract is totally curable while the latter is preventable with proper treatment in time, he added.     

Dr Shabbir, a fellow of paediatric ophthalmology of University of British Columbia (UBC) Canada, has been providing service through his organisation since 2000.  He has so far provided eye-care services to more than 1,900 children since 2005.

Light House Trust was formally registered as a non-profit organisation last year. It is providing treatment to 10/12 children per month, said Mr Shabbir, a specialist in child ophthalmology.


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