Conducting free eye camp is one of the missions of Al-Basar International Foundation eagerly tries to carry out whenever it is possible. Till today 46th free eye camps have been implemented in different parts of Bangladesh. While the last one took place in Noagoan district where the most of the people live on traditional agriculture, which become badly affected when hit by flood or natural disasters, as is the case today on August 2017. . Nearly half of the district is submerged under water ; trees are uprooted , houses and shacks are destroyed, animals are killed or displaced. Such disasters undoubtedly have far-reaching effects on the overall livelihood of the population, leaving them unable to afford the cost of treatment for the removal of cataract.
The camp was welcomed by regional dignitaries and officials from various government facilities in the District. Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, former director of the Ministry of Health, and Mr. Mohamed Fadl Al-Haq, principal of Uttara University College, who were in the camp all day long, expressed their great joy at such a free camp for the first time in the history of the region. Dr. Mano Rangahan Mandal, Director of the Health Bureau of the Upazilla, expressed his great pleasure at such a camp, where everything is provided free of charge with good services and respectable treatment.
The camp continued after the auspicious start for a week. In this period patients came from across the region facing hurdles placed by the flood-situation.
The activities of the camp on the first day were as follows:
– Conduct screening of 3500 patients.
– Distribution of medicines and glasses to those in need.
– Perform different tests on selected patients, including blood pressure, glucose level, eye lens measurement, and other pre-operation tests.
The other days of the camp were divided between conducting operation, removing pads and distributing medicines and glasses, and giving instructions about how everyone should pass days after operation to ensure the success of the process and the safety of the eyes.
The medical team, which has made strenuous efforts to make the camp more successful, was made up of 70 persons, including 14 consultants, medical assistant, nurses and administrative officers, as well as volunteers from the area.
The location of the camp was very appropriate, as it meets the criteria that we hope will be available in the camps, especially in terms of field capacity, and the presence of dozens of rooms for temporary outpatient clinics. All these things were available at Uttara University College, where we grounded our camp.
Since the Makkah Eye Hospital established by Al-Basar International Foundation in Rajshahi Province in 2011, was located only 50 km from the camp, therefore, it was chosen as the headquarters for operations. The hospital was fully prepared with its medical staff and enough manpower to receive the selected patients and provide full health care during their stay.
The final outcome of the camp was as follows:
– Screening of 3500 patients.
– Selecting 765 patients for cataract operation.
– Conducting surgery of 603 patients.
– Distribution of 1493 glasses.
– Distribution of 3776 drops of medicine.
– Distribution of 15512 tablets.
– Distribution of 55 ointments for external use.
The first follow up was carried out 25 August 2017 in order to ascertain whether everything was done as required. It has been found that the success rate of operations was 100%, and the second follow up will be carried out on 15 September 2017.
In conclusion, we thank God Almighty for his generosity and kindness that permitted us for serving cataract patients bringing lights back to the eyes in a country such as Bangladesh.