This week Essilor together with the Bangladeshi Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW) and other partners of the Clear Vision Collective, launched Project DRESTI – District Refractive Error and Eye Care Search and Treat Initiative. Over the next two years, Clear Vision Collective will work to correct the vision of 58,000 adults and children in the Sherpur district.

The Clear Vision Collective expects over 80% of people who acquire glasses through Project DRESTI will be getting their very first ever pair of glasses helping them to work more productively, participate more easily at school and enjoy a higher quality of life. This will be the first district in Bangladesh with affordable vision care for all its citizens.

Through Project DRESTI, the Clear Vision Collective will:

  • open and operate four vision centers,
  • make reading glasses available for the first time through 100 rural medical providers,
  • open 25 Eye Mitra optical shops,
  • train 400 health workers to conduct community vision camps,
  • provide children’s eyeglasses through school screening programmes,
  • perform 4,000 cataract surgeries.

These efforst will provide affordable services for low income consumers and free eyeglasses to children and adults in need.

The Clear Vision Collective is comprised of organizations from the non-profit, social enterprise, health, business and government sectors. In addition to Essilor, members include BRAC, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Jeeon, Dr. K. Zaman BNSB Eye Hospital, National Vision (USA), National Eye Care (NEC), National Institute of Ophthalmology, OneSight, Orbis, RestoringVision, and VisionSpring.

When we can all see clearly, the future of our families and of our nation is brighter.

Speaking at the launch event, Prof. Dr. A H M Enayet shared “When we can all see clearly, the future of our families and of our nation is brighter. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is proud to partner with the Clear Vision Collective to help achieve National Eye Care goals. As the CVC members make it possible for many more people to wear eyeglasses, they also will identify and treat conditions like cataracts, infection and diabetic retinopathy.”

The Clear Vision Collective expects that over 80% of people who acquire glasses through Project DRESTI will be getting their very first ever pair of glasses. The two-year program will serve as a test for potential replication in other districts.

Uncorrected poor vision remains the world’s number one unaddressed disability, affecting 2.5 billion people globally. Through joint initiatives like DRESTI, Essilor is aiming to eradicate this disability from the world by 2050 and make sure everyone on the planet has the vision correction he or she needs.