An estimated 16 million people in Bangladesh have a disability and most of them live in rural areas and cannot reach modern healthcare facilities.

But the charity IMPACT is helping local medics treat disabilities aboard a three-deck floating hospital.

The 40 by 10 metre vessel travels along 3,000 kilometres of waterway and includes wards, an operating theatre, a training centre, laboratories and even its own water purification plant.

Aboard the Jibon Tari (Boat of Life) Floating Hospital, patients are treated for a range of conditions including cataracts, club-foot, post-polio deformities, cleft lip and loss of hearing.

Since its launch in 1999 more than 400,000 patients have been treated at 26 different locations in the country.

Nidhi Dutt travels to Kaliganj in western Bangladesh, to meet patients suffering not only from physical disabilities, but also the social stigma that often accompanies ill health.

Source: Al Jazeera