Standard Chartered Bank and non-government organization Friendship on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide 400 free of cost cataract surgeries throughout 2018.
Standard Chartered Bank will sponsor the cost of the surgeries while Friendship will conduct them in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Inaugurating the event, Bitopi Das Chowdhury, head of corporate affairs at Standard Chartered Bank, said the bank's global community investment program tackles blindness, and has helped over 150 million people across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.
Golam Rasul, director and head of Health at Friendship, also spoke at the event.
“Our vision is to standardize and empower marginalized communities,” the Friendship director said.
“We have provided services to 15 million beneficiaries in the Northern and Southern coastal regions of Bangladesh since our inception in 2002. Three floating hospitals – Lifebuoy Friendship Hospital, Emirates Friendship Hospital, and Rongdhonu Friendship Hospital, have provided services to a combined total of more than a million beneficiaries in coastal communities as of December 2017,” he added.
Standard Chartered Bank Chief Executive Officer Naser Ezaz Bijoy expressed his satisfaction at the chance to work with Friendship, and said both organizations would lend helping hand to marginalized communities.
“Standard Chartered Bank is particularly excited about this project as Rongdhonu Friendship Hospital provides exceptional services to those otherwise with no access at all,” he said.
“It is a start for us, and we hope to do even more in the future,” Naser added.
“It is our responsibility to help the coastal communities, who go through incredible levels of hardship during disasters such as cyclones,” said Friendship founder Runa Khan at the conclusion of the event.