Study: 50% Bangladeshi transport workers have eyesight issues

Brac Road Safety Programme and JCI–Dhaka West conducted the survey on 1,200 transport workers in Dhaka last month

Around 50% of transport workers in Bangladesh suffer from eyesight problems, said a study by Brac.

Brac’s Road Safety Program Head Kamran ul Baset shared the findings in a press conference held at Dhaka’s BRTA building on Sunday. 

Brac, in partnership with JCI, conducted tests on 1,200 transport workers at an eye camp. Of them, over 700 were drivers and helpers. 

Speakers also discussed and shared their opinions regarding the findings in the program jointly organized by Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), Brac, and Junior Chamber International (JCI).

The study said some 94% of the workers, who are suffering from eyesight issues, are aware of their condition, and 87% of them will seek medical care.

Of the transport workers, who went through eye test in the camp, 56% are aged between 31 and 50. 

Baset said the age group is significant in this study because eye related ailments are prevalent in people over 40.  

He recommended the government enforce vehicle owners to make mandatory eye checkups for their service staff; eye examinations before renewal of driving license by BRTA; and that BRTA and NIO (National Institute of Ophthalmology) open eye examination booths at BRTA centers.

The transport workers also reported other eye-related problems, such as reading difficulties, dry eye, itching, and watery eyes. 

Ahmed Najmul Hussain, director of Brac Road Safety program, said: “Bangladesh has the highest rate of road traffic fatalities in the world in people aged between five and 25.”  

He also said ensuring road safety is a must if Bangladesh wants to meet its SDG goals. 

It is imperative to mention here that at least 1,552 people, including 195 women and 268 children, have been killed in road accidents across Bangladesh, between January and April of 2019.

Sk Md Mahbub-E-Rabbani, director of Road Safety, BRTA, was also present at the program.

JCI Dhaka West President Safi Emon said: "If JCI gets support from the government, it can work to reduce the number of accidents resulting from the drivers' eyesight problems." 

Speakers also discussed and shared their opinions regarding the findings in the program jointly organized by BRTA, Brac, and JCI.


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