Reading glasses are launched at a Jeoon factory.

SHERPUR, Bangladesh—A group of 10 eyecare organizations and the Bangladeshi Ministry of Health and Family Welfare have united to form the Clear Vision Collective, a group dedicated to correcting the vision of 58,000 adults and children in the district of Sherpur, in Bangladesh. The Clear Vision Collective is comprised of: BRAC, Essilor, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Jeeon, Dr. K. Zaman BNSB Eye Hospital, National Vision (USA), National Eye Care (NEC), National Institute of Ophthalmology, OneSight, Orbis, RestoringVision, and VisionSpring.

Over the next two years, the Clear Vision Collective will open and operate four vision centers in Sherpur, make reading glasses available for the first time through 100 Rural Medical Providers, open 25 Eye Mitra optical shops, train 400 health workers to conduct community vision camps, provide children’s eyeglasses through schools, and perform 4,000 cataract surgeries. All this work will be done through Project DRESTI (District Refractive Error and Eye Care Search and Treat Initiative), a project launched by professor A H M Enayet Hossain, additional director general, directorate general of health services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Saugata Banerjee, Essilor Asia, left, flanks a worker at Essilor's Eye Mitra with Reade Fahs, National Vision.

K-T Overbey, president and CEO, OneSight with BRAC community worker at eye camp.

The Clear Vision Collective expects that over 80 percent of the people receiving glasses through Project DRESTI will be getting their first-ever pair. This two-year project is intended to serve as a test for potential replication in other districts.

“When we can all see clearly, the future of our families and of our nation is brighter. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is proud to partner with the Clear Vision Collective to help achieve national eyecare goals. As the CVC members make it possible for many more people to wear eyeglasses, they also will identify and treat conditions like cataracts, infection and diabetic retinopathy,” said Enayet.

Ella Gudwin, president of VisionSpring, said, “Project DRESTI is a coordinated, ecosystem approach. CVC members are implementing their unique business models and charitable programs side by side for the first time. In creating hundreds of new points of sale, care and information, our goal is for the 1.4 million people of Sherpur to know about the life changing benefits of vision correction and to be able to get affordable glasses and eyecare near to where they live, work and study.” VisionSpring will serve as the coordinator for the Clear Vision Collective.