Currently there are 90 community vision centres across the country
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the government would expand the eye treatment facilities through a community vision centre (CVC) to each upazila gradually, as healthy people are needed to pull Bangladesh ahead.
“In digital Bangladesh, we’ve brought health services to the people’s doorstep and the CVC will be expanded to each upazila gradually as initiatives have already been taken to set up more 110 CVCs across the country,” she said.
The premier was addressing the opening ceremony of the CVCs installed at 70 upazilas in 20 districts in Dhaka’s National Eye Science Institute and Hospital (NESIH), virtually joining from her official residence Ganabhaban on Thursday.
Mentioning that healthy people are needed to build a prosperous Bangladesh, she said the government is arranging necessary healthcare facilities so the people will remain fit.
Referring to the opportunities of “Digital Bangladesh” established by the Awami League government, Sheikh Hasina said now the people usually do not need to move physically to physicians in every case; rather they can avail treatment through telemedicine and it has
been possible due to digitalization.
With the 20 CVCs introduced earlier in eight districts in 2018, the tally now surged to 90 which would cover around 50 million people, to provide treatment for different eye diseases. So far, some 450,000 patients have received treatment from specialist physicians through the CVCs.
The head of the government said eye treatment is expensive and that is why people usually do not receive treatment. “Not only as the prime minister, but as daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, I cannot let the people remain without treatment,” she said.
“It is my duty to make necessary arrangements for providing treatment to them [people],” the prime minister continued.
She directed the authorities concerned to ensure more publicity for the community clinics as well as the CVCs and to motivate the people to visit there for medical treatment.
Mentioning that Bangabandhu had made the country independent to ease the sorrow and sufferings of its people, Sheikh Hasina said: “It is also our responsibility.”
Assuming power in 1996, Awami League introduced community clinics to provide healthcare services to people’s doorstep, but the BNP-Jamaat government after 2001 stopped the clinics, she said.
As the people voted AL again to power in 2009, they have been able to reopen the community clinics along with the introduction of the CVCs to offer different medical treatments and medicines free of cost, she added.
Extending gratitude to the people, the premier said: “We can work for you [people] and offer different services for your trust and confidence in AL.”
Reiterating her call to the people to follow the health rules to stop the spread of Covid-19, she urged them to register themselves for vaccination and visit respective centres when the date for inoculation comes instead of creating any indiscipline by moving there before the fixed schedule.
Sheikh Hasina repeated her government’s determination to provide land and house to each land and homeless person in the Mujib Borsho. “None will remain home and land less as we have kept Tk100 crore in the budget for it.”
Mentioning the graduation of Bangladesh as a developing nation, she vowed the government along with the people would turn the country into a hunger- and poverty-
free one, which would see progress with its head high and self-esteem globally.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque also spoke on the occasion while the PM’s Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the function.
Health Secretary Md. Abdul Mannan delivered the welcome address and NESIH Director Professor Dr Golam Mostafa highlighted different aspects of the CVCs.
On the outset of the ceremony, a documentary on the national eye care and the CVCs was screened.
Later, the premier virtually connected with Peerganj upazila of Rangpur, Nachole upazila of Chapainawabganj, and Haluaghat upazila of Mymensingh.
She also spoke to the beneficiaries of the CVCs and listened to them sharing details of their experience.