The Foundation has distributed 200 sets of protective goggles to farmers in northern Bangladesh to help combat agricultural eye trauma, which occurs regularly during the harvesting season in Jamalpur District.
In this district, more than half of the population are farmers. Many types of eye-damaging bacteria and fungi grow in the crops they tend.
As a result, as the farmers plant, cut, thrash and dry their crops each day, they often receive corneal injuries. During the harvest season, this becomes the leading causes of blindness in the country.
With little or no access to proper eye care services, many farmers are becoming permanently blind.
The protective goggles delivered by The Foundation will reduce the number of blindness sufferers.
A recent study in Bangladesh
found that 90 per cent of corneal injury cases could be prevented if farmers wore proper protective eye wear at work.
With The Foundation's support, eye safety awareness is increasing. Farmers are sharing what they learn about protecting their eyes with others, which will further reduce blindness rates.
Jamalpur is one of seven districts in Bangladesh where The Foundation is working to develop eye care services. Quality and affordable cataract operations are becoming accessible to the poorest of people living in the district.
Avoidable blindness is a major health problem in Bangladesh. According to one survey, around 7.5 million people aged 30 and above, and up to 40,000 children, live with vision difficulties. Furthermore, over 75 per cent of the country's population lives in rural areas without access to eye health services.
The Foundation is currently working with the Government of Bangladesh on a National Eye Care Plan to eliminate avoidable blindness in the country by the year 2020.
> Learn more about our Bangladesh Program.