Scores of Bangladeshis receive affordable healthcare every day on the country’s first floating hospital.
Millions of Bangladeshis have no access to modern healthcare. A shortage of qualified medical staff, a dearth of health services, poor infrastructure and frequent flooding means health statistics – though improving – remain dismal.
But aboard the Jibon Tari (Boat of Life) Floating Hospital, run by the charity IMPACT, free or affordable medical care is provided to scores of patients each day.
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Reporter Nidhi Dutt attends the hospital’s weekly eye surgery where she meets Parul Begum, a mother of two, as she undergoes a life-changing operation to remove a cataract.
Prior to the surgery, she explains: “If I go blind no one would take care of me. That’s why I need to do the operation and get better.”
Since the hospital’s launch in 1999, more than 25,000 cataract operations have been performed on the boat, including hundreds by eye surgeon Dr Habibur Rahman, who travels from the capital Dhaka to treat some of the country’s most needy.