As a project of Prime Bank Foundation which operates as the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) wing of Prime Bank, Prime Bank Eye Hospital (PBEH) strives to reach the poorest of the poor through outreach eye camps in and outside of Dhaka. PBEH conducts eye screenings in schools, parks and industries. It also partners with community clinics and other NGOs to organize eye camps for poor and middle income communities.
Outreach Eye Camp of PBEH:
PBEH itself and with the financial support of Prime Bank Limited (PBL), has been providing eye care services among poor people through outreach eye camps throughout the country. About 60,000 (sixty thousand) patients have been examined by these camps and almost 3,000 cataract patients have undergone operations at Prime Bank Eye Hospital.
This great humanitarian role makes PBEH/PBF a “Gateway” for eye patients to obtain necessary eye care. PBEH has gained significant popularity within the short span of time it has been functioning because of its ethical approach, humanitarian goals and unconventional facilities which are available at minimum cost.
From our brief experience as a new hospital it is clear that people having eye problems need to be motivated to seek eye care treatment. When viewed in context, many of the reasons given above start to make sense. That is why we are actively pursuing industrial and school screening campaigns throughout the country, these are elaborated below:
School Vision Screening Programme of PBEH:
Childhood blindness is a severe problem in our country. A research study has revealed that about 40,000 children are blind of which 12,000 are due to congenital cataract. The other causes of childhood blindness are vitamin-A deficiency, glaucoma, retinal disease, amblyopic, low vision etc. Besides this, about 9,925 children in every 1 million are suffering from refractive error which could easily be corrected with glasses.
Myopia is one of the most common eye problem faced by children/students. About 59% of child blindness in Bangladesh is preventable, treatable and curable. Child cataract is treatable by timely intervention. The purpose of a school vision screening programme is to identify students with possible visual impairments. Visual problems can and do affect the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development of students. The key to successful treatment is early identification and intervention which may prevent educational problems and permanent vision impairments. Even mild vision impairments may be educationally and medically significant. Therefore, vision screening programmes should be an integral part of the total school health programme.
Since PBEH has significant experience in eye care with the technical support of Aravind Eye Care System of India, it has enough opportunity to conduct eye screening of students for all schools (Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary) in Dhaka City. On the day of the school screening, a team from our hospital visits the school with eye screening kits in order to indentify visual acuity problems for the students. After preliminary screening by a trained Optometrist, those who are identified with eye defects are counseled and advised by the PBEH team to seek further treatment at our base hospital.
The purpose of vision screening in industries is to identify employees in need of ophthalmic services. By having the employees referred to the proper practitioners helps reduce employee fatigue, increases quality control and reduces the risk of accidents. In this context, it is necessary to mention that there are many workers who are not even aware of the problem in their eye sight and continue to suffer from easily curable problems.
PBEH started the eye screening camp for industry workers from January of 2014. Three industrial screenings were held this year where 379 workers were screened. A total of 181 workers were identified with Refractive Error, spectacles were prascribed to 174, 67 spectacles were dispansed and 25 workers were advised for referral.