TOWSONTOWNE ROTARY FOUNDATION INC wrote -
More than 500,000 children and adults in Bangladesh are blind because of damaged or diseased corneas. The cornea is like the eye's windshield. If light is blocked, vision is impossible. In the United States, corneal transplants are routine and take about 30 minutes to restore sight. If donated corneas were routinely available to the corneally blind in Bangladesh, they would have the chance to receive an education, work productively, and raise families successfully. Eventually, the entire economy improves, and so does the global community.
The Towsontowne Rotary Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit entity of the Towsontowne Rotary Club, near Baltimore. Our members spent the last two years preparing this self-sustaining model that can be replicated in other developing nations. The project will increase the capabilities of the eye bank in the capital, Dhaka, and train 4,000 medical students and alumni volunteers, called Sandhanis, to obtain permission from families of the deceased to use their corneas. The Sandhanis then prepare the corneas for delivery to the eye bank, via the excellent local bus services, where they are made ready for surgery by ophthalmologists.
The surgery has a 90% success rate. One third of the patients will pay on a sliding scale. That income will cover surgeries for the remaining two thirds who cannot afford them. The unpaid project director is Rotary member Mahmood Farazdaghi while Chris Coleman, another member, is involved because his vision was restored by corneal transplants in both eyes. Mahmood and Chris know first-hand that this project will changes lives of the patients and improve their nation as a whole.