Village Vision (cataract surgery)
The Village Vision project forms part of Symbiosis Eye Camps and Health Activities (SECHA), the aim of which is to alleviate poverty by improving health, addressing disability and removing impediments to development such as low vision and blindness.
The work of Symbiosis in Bangladesh is carried out under the overall management and oversight of Symbiosis International, an NGO registered in Australia and based in Brisbane, Australia.
For over 20 years, Symbiosis has been helping poor and marginalised people in Bangladesh overcome poverty, principally in rural areas. It does this through empowerment-based grassroots community development, centred on self-help group formation, adult literacy and peer savings (for income generation activities). The empowerment of women is a key focus. Complementary programs include health care, vocational training and human rights awareness raising activities.
The Village Vision project objectives are to:
- facilitate improved quality of life and development participation by treating blindness caused by cataracts
- strengthen Symbiosis’ grassroots development work by building trust through the demonstration of practical care and concern
Symbiosis sought a UCF small grant of $2,000 AUD to cover the following direct costs of providing cataract surgery to 20 patients:
- Transport of patients to and from the BNSB eye hospital in Mymensingh
- Cataract surgery, including intra-ocular lenses for 20 patients
- Post-operative care
- Ophthalmologists’ honorariums and transport
- Advertising expenses (typically posters and banners put up in focus community)
- Provision of food on the screening day
Note that the total cost to restore sight is just $100 per person!
The UCF Board members were pleased to approve this Village Vision project application from Symbiosis for $2,000 AUD.