In 1978, when Operation Eyesight began working in Khulna, an estimated 17 million people in southwestern Bangladesh had no access to eye care. Working with the Bangladesh National Society for the Blind and Dr. Bahuddin Malik, we established a comprehensive eye care program there. It was here, in 1990, that Dr. Malik performed Operation Eyesight’s one millionth cataract surgery.
Outreach was an important component of the program, taking medical care to the people who lived in remote areas, including eye exams, treatment of infection and the identification of surgery patients. There was also a grassroots training program with over 4,000 teachers, who learned to recognize common eye problems so young students with eye problems could be diagnosed and treated early.