Thousands of patients in remote areas are getting quality eye treatment including cataract operations for nominal costs, thanks to the humanitarian efforts by a doctor at a remote village in Gouripur upazila under the district.
Under the initiative of Prof AKMA Muqtadir, former head of ophthalmology of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, a total of 34,715 patients received cataract operations there since 1976.
The beneficiaries include 500 treatment receivers at a three-day eye camp during January 15-17, marking the 12th founding anniversary of Dr Muqtadir Eye Hospital at Nayapara village in Gouripur upazila.
Health Minister Mohammed Nasim inaugurated the camp as chief guest.
Dr Muqtadir with the cooperation of his wife Dr Mahmuda Khatun established the 70-bed hospital on a five-acre land at his home village Nayapara in 2004 to provide affordable eye treatment to the rural people.
After completing his MBBS from Mymensingh Medical College in 1975, Dr Muqtadir started providing low-cost treatment for the poor patients.
In 1976, he started arranging eye camps at Gouripur Pilot High School ground and the camp venue shifted to Dr Muqtadir Eye Hospital in 2004.
The hospital, equipped with modern facilities, has the arrangement for different tests including ECG, blood sugar, and SPT.
For a cataract operation, one has to pay only Tk 4000 that also includes the cost for tests, medicines, food and three-day stay at the hospital.
During camps, the same treatment is done for a nominal Tk 1000, hospital sources said.
“Hearing about good treatment with very low cost, I came to the camp for a cataract operation,” said Maleka Begum, 55, from Shahbazpur in Gouripur.
Jamuna Rabidas, 75, a patient at the camp from Sakua Konapara in Ishwarganj upazila, and Sajeda Begum, 50, from Kailati in Netrakona district, echoed the same.
The hospital has brought treatment facilities to the doorstep of the people in the remote area, said Abu Sayeed, a local Awami League leader.
Dr Muqtadir said as many as 34,715 patients, mostly from very poor families in rural areas, received cataract operations during his service for the last 39 years.
Renowned eye specialists from home and abroad conducted cataract operations at the eye camps, he said, adding, “I will continue the humanitarian job till my last breath.”