Blindness Prevention Program

The TERF blindness prevention program aims to overcome the two biggest barriers to vision care for disadvantaged children and adults in Bangladesh: prohibitive cost and limited access. The objective of this program is to contribute to the elimination of avoidable blindness and promote equality of opportunity for the destitute and vision impaired.

Bangladesh Blindness Profile:

  • Over 750,000 blind
  • 650,000 due to cataract (80% of total blindness)
  • 120,000 add every year as incidence
  • Over 6 million need vision correction by spectacles & other means
  • Approx. 40,000 children are blind—approximately 12,000 of which are due to cataracts that can be corrected through surgery
  • 80% of blind children live in rural areas whilst 90% of doctors and medical professionals live in towns and cities
  • Source: The Summary Report of the Bangladesh National Blindness &Low Vision Survey (30 & above age group), May 2003
    Cataract Treatment
    Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop in the lens of the eye, which is normally clear so that light can pass through easily. The poor don’t have access to eye health services, such as cataract treatment, and typically can’t afford them if they are available.

    • Between 2,400 and 3,000 cataract operations are required / million population / year in Bangladesh to control cataract blindness
    • This translates to a total of 307,000 -384,000 cataract operations annually
    • Currently about 140,000 cataract operations are being done, which represents around 45% of the estimated need.

    Source: The analysis of Sightsavers International:

    TERF works with individuals, foundations, local NGOs and hospitals to facilitate safe and successful cataract operations. This straight-forward and inexpensive surgery replaces the damaged lens of the eye with a synthetic intra-ocular lens. The results of cataract treatment are miraculous. In most cases when the surgeon removes the bandages, patients can see almost immediately and often after having suffered from blindness for years.

    Vision Correction
    TERF also facilitates free vision screenings and the distribution of eyeglasses to disadvantaged school children. The program involves screening children on-site to determine their vision correction needs and prescribing the appropriate glasses to those who need them. This brings education into focus and allows vision impaired school children to participate more in class activities.

      Vitamin A Distribution
      Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable childhood blindness in Bangladesh. Providing Vitamin A supplements only twice a year will eliminate this risk. Vitamin A supplementation is considered to be the most cost-effective, high-priority public health treatment in the world and only costs about $1.00 per child per year.

      TERF works with its local partners to help ensure the regular delivery of vitamin A to vulnerable populations in Bangladesh.

    1. Donate: options, $20, $40, $60, $100
    2. Sponsor a cataract operation: $100