In 2005 – 2008, Sightsavers supported an urban eye care project (Dhaka Urban Eye Care Project – DUECP) implemented by three non-government eye organizations, namely Islamia Eye Hospital as the lead hospital coordinating with the Dhaka Bangladesh National Society for the Blind (BNSB) and the Bangladesh Lions Eye Foundation (BLF), Dhaka.
The successful completion of this project highlighted the need for testing feasibility of a larger demonstration approach that included other key stakeholders like the government, NGO and private sector services. On completion of the pilot project solely supported by Sightsavers till September 2008, the ‘Dhaka Urban Comprehensive Eye Care Project’ (DUCECP)’ was launched with financial support from Standard Chartered’s ‘Seeing is Believing’ (SiB) Phase IV initiative. The DUCECP was designed more comprehensively in the context of the type of eye health services required. The overall budget of the project was USD 1,657,222 spread over a period of 5 years. In 2013, a no-cost extension was agreed for 15 months up to December 2014. Of this, USD 1 million was provided by Seeing is Believing programme, while USD 657,222 was contributed by Sightsavers.