Fighting Disease

Rotary gives the gift of sight in Bangladesh

Rotary gives the gift of sight in Bangladesh

Members of Tameside Rotary were able to see the impact one of their projects is having in Bangladesh in preventing sight loss.

A group of Rotarians from Greater Manchester recently made the journey to Bangladesh for the opening of the the Just Help Sylhet Pride Rotary Eye Hospital.

Tameside Rotary Club had been working with Mizan Rahman of the Just Help Foundation since 2015 to turn his vision for the Eye Hospital into a reality.

The hospital is located in Sylhet, Bangladesh where there is a lack of basic health care which causes many to go prematurely blind because they are unable to receive simple treatments

Back in 2015, John Miles of Global Sight Solutions gave a talk at a district conference describing the success the charity was having setting up eye hospitals in India and Africa.

It was wonderful and humbling to see the difference Rotary has made to so many lives.”

The audience for that conference included Mizan and Andy Williams, President of the newly formed Tameside Rotary Club.

Mizan told Andy about the Just Hope Foundation, the charity he had set up in his hometown of Sylhet, that were already operating an eye clinic and had a building that could be upgraded to an eye hospital.

Andy quickly thought if he could bring John and Mizan together, they could provide a modern eye hospital to the people of Sylhet with Rotary’s support.

After give years of working on the project with Sylhet Pride Rotary Club and a delay caused by COVID-19, Tameside Rotary were able to get a $150,000 Global Grant approved. This money would go towards necessary improvements to the building and the purchase of the medical equipment.

Mizan Rahman and Andy Williams of Tameside Rotary.

Eye operations have now been carried out for six months and are already helping hundreds of people get treatment to prevent sight loss.

Tameside Rotarians, including Andy, were present at the opening of the hospital along with Mizan and members of the Just Help Foundation.

Many Rotary clubs in the same District as Tameside supported this project as well as the Rotary Club of Sowerby Bridge, who had learnt of the hospital via Tameside Rotary’s website.

Andy got to present a plaque to the hospital that recognises the support of Rotary clubs from the UK, especially from Tameside Rotary.

Andy said “Wherever we went during our five day trip, we were treated as honoured guests and met nothing but kindness, enthusiasm and consideration. The welcome from local Rotarians was overwhelming.

“Overall, our trip from Tameside to Bangladesh was filled with awe, wonder and admiration for the local people who have so little (by comparison to many others) but care so much for each other.

“Such a strong sense of community bonds and ties. It was wonderful and humbling to see the difference Rotary has made to so many lives.”

You can find out more about the Just Help Sylhet Pride Rotary Eye Hospital on Tameside Rotary’s website.