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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates Community Vision Centres in 20 upazilas of eight districts through a videoconference from her official residence Gono Bhaban yesterday. Photo: PID
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will take effective steps to increase the number of specialist physicians to provide better medical services in the country.
“We’ll take steps to produce more specialist physicians in all the fields of medical services, including ophthalmology and ENT,” she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating Community Vision Centres in 20 upazilas of eight districts centring Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Eye Hospital and Training Institute in Gopalganj through a videoconference from her official residence Gono Bhaban, aiming to provide better ophthalmological (eye care) services for local people.
Hasina said the government has established one medical university in Dhaka while three more will be set up in Chittagong, Rajshahi and Sylhet as its aim is to establish one medical university in each divisional headquarters.
Besides, the prime minister said, her government is setting up medical colleges across the country to provide healthcare services at people’s doorsteps.
Hasina said the government will produce expert physicians through training.
She also said the government has taken an initiative to groom nurses through proper training, alongside providing training to physicians as it is the duty of the government to provide services to people.
“Power is not a matter of enjoyment to me; it’s a matter of performing duty and responsibility,” she said.
The prime minister announced that there will a separate fund for the Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Eye Hospital and Training Institute in Gopalganj to provide medical services to the ultra-poor.
She announced a Tk 20 crore donation from PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund in this connection. “The interest that will come from this money will be used for the eye-related treatment of the ultra-poor across the country.”
Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim, State Minister Zahid Maleque and former adviser to the prime minister Prof Dr Syed Modasser Ali also spoke at the programme.The first Vision Center in Lakshmipur was inaugurated at Kamalnagar of the district on Sunday. National Childhood Blindness Project (NCBP) of Orbis International Bangladesh has provided financial and technical support to establish the centre.
Managed by Mazharula Haque BNSB Eye Hospital, Chandpur, the centre will provide primary eye care services to the people of the area.
Dr Forhad Hossain, Head of Paediatric Unit of National Institute of Ophthalmology & Hospital (NIO&H), and Prof Dr Saifuddin Ahmed Pintu, Director of Shiekh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Eye Hospital and Training Institute of Gopalganj, jointly inaugurated the centre.
Nizam Uddin, Chairman of Hajirhat Union Parishad of Kamalnagar under Lakshmipur district, presided over the inaugural ceremony.
The vision centre will provide eye health care services, including primary eye care, children’s eye screening, refraction, referral of the patient to the base hospital in Chandpur for cataract, phaco, DCR and other surgeries.
A set of five eye care professionals like, refractionists, vision technician and MRD keeper are working at the centre.
Speaking at the event, MA Masud Bhuiyan, honorary General Secretary of Mazharul Haque BNSB Eye Hospital, said as vision centre is a permanent eye care facility, set up at the community level (of hard to reach area), people can now have their eyes treated and have the opportunity to get further treatment through Mazharul Haque BNSB Eye Hospital in Chandpur.
Dr Munir Ahmed, Country Director of Orbis International Bangladesh said, it is a remarkable moment for the people of Lakshimpur and achievement for Orbis, as the vision centre has brought eye health care services to the people of this remote area.
For last 30 years, Orbis has been working to ensure quality eye care services in Bangladesh. Talking about telemedicine support facility in the vision centre, Dr Munir said ophthalmologists from the base hospital in Chandpur will examine patients’ eyes.
Appreciating Orbis International Bangladesh, the chief guest said Lakshmipur is fortunate to get a vision centre for quality eye health services. Orbis’s contribution to eye health sector of Bangladesh is notable.
Among others, Md Sana Ullah, Manager of Islami Bank Bangladesh’s Hazirhat Branch, and Mohammed Alauddin, Director of Programs of Orbis International Bangladesh were present at the event.
Orbis International, Bangladesh Country Program has been working on Childhood Blindness Reduction Program since 2000. Till today, NCBP partner hospitals established six vision centres in Chittagong, Habiganj, Lakshmipur, Netrokona, Satkhira and another one is to start in Sylhet soon. Partners of Orbis International Bangladesh are managing 21 vision centres across the country.