UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has received a donation of 1,500 pairs of spectacles from Fuji Optical Co. Ltd. for Rohingyas and vulnerable Bangladeshi host community in Cox’s Bazar.
These were handed over to Orbis International on Saturday as part of their ‘Eye Care Programme’ within the Rohingya settlements and local communities in Ukhiya.The donation is in addition to a donation of 1,000 pairs of spectacles in 2017, bringing the total to 2,500, said the UN agency.
“UNHCR is providing support for both refugees as well as local people. We need more of this kind of services. It is a very good initiative”, said Md Shamsud Douza, Additional Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC) at the ceremony.
Fuji Optical Co. Ltd. has been working with UNHCR since 1984 to provide clear sight to thousands of refugees.
The Fuji Optical Co. Ltd. is one of UNHCR’s longest-standin gprivate sector partners. The CEO, Dr. Akio Kanai, was the recipient of UNHCR’s NansenRefugee Award in 2006, in recognition of his life changing work with UNHCR.
Orbis began their program in Cox’s Bazar in 2018 in partnership with the ‘Cox’s Bazar Baitush Sharaf Hospital’ (CBBSH), to provide eye care services to both refugees and host community. This includes an outreach program, school sight testing program, andscreening at child friendly spaces. A screening centre has been established in Camp 11,Balukhali, while a Vision Centre was opened at the Ukhia Upazila Health Complex.
CBBSH is a long-standing partner of UNHCR and acts a referral hospital for secondary care for refugees, in addition to serving the local population.As part of UNHCR’s assistance to the host communities, UNHCR implements programmes that support improving capacities of hospitals and health points within the district.
CBBSH has received a fully equipped ambulance for use for both refugees and host community.
“We’re not just helping one person with a pair of spectacles, but the whole family, who will benefit from their sight. We must focus on establishing strong services for all communities. All are human beings and deserve our support”, said Marin Kajdomcaj,Head of UNHCR Sub-Office in Cox’s Bazar, who attended the ceremony in Ukhiya.
“Since 2018, over 120,000 eye screenings have been conducted, over 2,800 patients have undergone cataract surgery, over 20,000 people have received medicine, while over 9,000 pairs of spectacles have been distributed to patients free of charge” added Dr Munir Ahmed, Country Director of Orbis International, Bangladesh.