Since August 2010, Dr. Lutful Husain has worked as a Staff Ophthalmologist based in ORBIS’s office in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He oversees training and clinical service quality for projects in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. He also supports project planning, design, and partner assessment before selection of partners. He assesses individual trainees and facilities and makes recommendations before any Hospital-Based Program (HBP) is proposed. Before a HBP is conducted, he communicates with Volunteer Faculty (VF) and responds to their queries and needs. During HBPs, he accompanies VF and briefs them about the overall practice of Ophthalmology in the country and the desired goals that the project is aiming to achieve. He works closely with all program managers in Bangladesh and India.
What inspired you to pursue eye health as a profession?
The founder of a renowned eye hospital in South Asia once said, “Loss of vision is the next [greatest] tragedy to death.” This inspired me to become involved in eye health because giving vision to a person is a great thing--a person who regains their vision will always remember the surgeon that helped them as they continue on through life.
How long have you been with ORBIS and how did you become involved with ORBIS?
In 2006, I was awarded a scholarship to pursue a Master of Community Eye Health degree at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and ORBIS was supporting the scholarship program. From then onward, I have been involved with ORBIS. After completion of my training, I came back and I worked with two NGO hospitals as a junior consultant but still was linked with ORBIS activities. And then, one day I thought that since I have both a clinical and public health background in ophthalmology, ORBIS would be a suitable place for me to utilize both my clinical and public health skills.
What is your day-to-day work at ORBIS look like?
First of all, my primary task is to ensure that all eye care services offered by ORBIS are delivered safely and conform to the standards set by ORBIS policy. I provide professional input in the development of concept papers and programs. I also maintain patient databases, medical records and perform statistical analysis to provide recommendations based on the findings. During hospital-based programs, I support the VF to ensure that they are engaged in the best possible way to facilitate the trainings. I also promote ORBIS in different professional forums. Based on the HBP and fellowship training, I have submitted an abstract to the 9th General Assembly of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) to be held in September, and it has been accepted. I also maintain regular e-mail and Skype communication with my senior and fellow colleagues in the Asia and South Asia offices.
Do you have a favorite moment or story with ORBIS that you would like to share?
I have many favorite moments. Because of my work at ORBIS, I have a lot of adventures in different regions at the rural level, in the remote areas and I have seen how ORBIS has been contributing for so many years to serve people and it gives me a sense of real happiness that I am part of this team.
What do you see for ORBIS in South-Asia in the future, in five years, ten years?
I want to see ORBIS as the leading organization involved in eye care in South Asia.