Promoting affordable vision correction services to rural populations in Bangladesh

Promoting affordable vision correction services to rural populations in Bangladesh

Round 2 Bangladesh Education and Health Completed



Partner contribution

$ 949,601

DFAT contribution

$ 388,875

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 1,338,476

Start: December 2017 - End: March 2020



Essilor partners with organisations and social enterprises in over 40 countries to increase access to affordable vision care. As part of Essilor’s inclusive business practice, 2.5 New Vision Generation was founded in 2013 and provides affordable vision care to underserved populations lacking access to conventional distribution channels. An example of its affordable innovation is Ready2Clip™ glasses. Ready2Clip™ allows pre-cut lenses to be snapped into a wide choice of frames meaning prescription glasses can be dispensed on the spot eliminating waiting times.


Founded in 1993, MART is a knowledge-based consulting firm working with global businesses, governments and donor agencies. Their expertise exists in accessing emerging markets and Bottom of the Pyramid segments.

Australian Government

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade works with international partners and other countries to tackle global challenges, increase trade and investment opportunities, protect international rules, keep our region stable and help Australians overseas.


About this partnership

In Bangladesh, a BPP partnership with global eye care company Essilor, training organisation MART and the Australian Government trained rural youth to fit glasses and do basic eye testing and referrals, acting as “Eye Mitro” (friend of the eye). In two years, over 400 primary eye care providers have been trained, providing nearly 10 million people with access to eye care. This Partnership Summary provides an insight into how the partners worked together, the complex challenges they faced and what they achieved.

About the initiative

Globally one in three people cannot see clearly and 90 per cent of these people live in developing countries where they often lack access to eye care. This partnership reduced the investment and risk for Essilor to expand a sustainable commercial model in Bangladesh to address a lack of access to eye care. The Australian Government helped to provide credibility to the partnership and accelerate Essilor’s presence and growth in Bangladesh.

Localising a regional concept

While the Eye Mitro program had previously been successful in India, the process of establishing a similar program in Bangladesh came with challenges. Essilor worked hard to gain government accreditation of its training program, including ensuring that Eye Mitro were actively connecting patients to other local health services, documenting the importance of front-line eye care in rural areas and the value of referrals made to government hospitals for more serious conditions.


New eye care businesses: 250 businesses
Trained eye care professionals: 400 people
People with access to eye care: 10 million
Cataract patients referred to nearby hospitals: 22,000 people

The Eye Mitro find that 60 per cent of their sales are repeat orders, meaning that they are sustainably able to operate their business. This also indicates a cultural change in areas with Eye Mitro services, as people begin to regularly check their vision, and use corrective lenses.

Learn more in the Partnership Summary: 

Download the Partnership Summary or email us to find out more:

Banner photo: Sajib Muhammad on behalf of Essilor


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