Cataract surgery patients.
Patients undergoing eye exam.
Mobile health clinic in Syedpur.
Among other problems faced by the camp residents, lack of adequate health care services is an acute issue. Due to extreme poverty and rampant unemployment, they cannot afford to pay the fees or incur other expenditure for their medical treatment at regular clinics. Close to 10,000 people are assisted annually through the two health care facilities operated by OBAT in Rangpur and Syedpur. The two clinics provide routine medical screenings and medication support for common ailments. For all health services, no consultation fee is charged and patients pay only fifty percent of the cost of the medicines.
There are many camps which are located at a considerable distance from OBAT’s Syedpur clinic. To ensure the provision of health services among the people in these camps, a mobile health service was initiated in Syedpur camps in 2011. The Medical Assistant who delivers these services is qualified and experienced and visits the camps every Sunday on a bicycle to provide treatment to ailing patients.
Health education for the camp residents is an integral part of the project to increase their awareness of various types of diseases and preventative measures related to them. For example, how to avoid being exposed to water borne pathogens by drinking clean water or lessons in first aid etcetera. Among other things, they are also taught about immunizations, nutritional deficiencies, family planning and practicing proper hygiene. Patients are also referred to other health service providers for lab tests etcetera. Follow up of referred patients is also carried out regularly. Malnutrition for kids younger than five years old is a serious issue. Parents of affected children also receive information and advice on improving their children’s nutrition by OBAT’s clinic staff.
Cataract surgery program
With no access to health care, many camp residents do not get the eye care they need and remain untreated for their vision related illnesses. Cataract surgeries are carried out in partnership with local hospitals and one surgery costs about $40 per person. We are grateful to the RS foundation and HCI (Human Concern International) for their contributions toward the cataract program in 2014. Since 2012, almost 2,700 cataract surgeries have been conducted in different camps.