The Countess of Wessex has been visiting eye hospitals in Bangladesh this week, her second trip to the country after first visiting in 2008. She visited the Ispahani Islamia Eye Institute and Hospital in the capital, unveiling a plaque to mark her visit also taking time out while there to visit the Prime Minister, Sheik Hasina. Sophie took a hands-on approach during the tour and also assisted with the treatment of some of the young patients under the supervision of the staff there.
The visit to Bangladesh was organised through the Countess’ links with the sight charity ORBIS and while in Bangladesh she also visited BarishalSadar Hospital and Chittagong Eye Infirmary Hospital on her trip. The Countess has indicated previously that her interest in eye injuries has been spurred on by the problems her daughter, Lady Louise Windsor has had. Lady Louise was born with strabismus, a condition where someone is unable to align and focus both eyes simultaneously, the Countess has said that the condition has now been corrected and it was probably caused by Louise being premature as eyesight is one of the last things to be formed during childbirth.
Orbis is a worldwide non-governmental, non-profit organisation that is seeking to save sight across the globe, and to that end, they provide the only flying eye-hospital that seeks to bring cutting-edge techniques in eye-care to all parts of the globe especially where there is a great need. The visit of the Countess of Wessex was simultaneous with the arrival at Chittagong International Airport of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital. This is the last leg of its 2017 programme, and they will be providing a 2-week ophthalmic training programme hosted by the Chittagong Eye Hospital. This will benefit all eye health workers, including nurses, anaesthetists, biomedical engineers and technicians. In addition to this, the flying eye hospital will be able to continue the valuable work of the charity with regards to their National Childhood Blindness Reduction programme.