Realizing the paucity of the ophthalmic services in the country and the necessity of more and urgent efforts in this sector, a group of eye specialist and social workers joined together to form a voluntary organization named Bangladesh National Society for Blind (BNSB) in 1973 with triple objectives of Prevention, cure and rehabilitation of the blind and visually handicapped people through static and mobile eye care services. The organization gave importance to outreach programs from its very inception. It took up mobile eye camp programs to reach services to their door steps, who are needlessly blind for years. This drew attention of a number of blind welfare workers at home and aboard. Sir John Wilson, the then Founder Director of Royal Commonwelth Society for the blind of UK and Mrs. Rossi Gollmann, the founder President of Andheri-HIife e.V of Germany extended their helping hands to BNSB’s work in 1973 and 1974 respectively. In 1975, the society’s school eye health program was initiated with a mobile unit for detection of visual defects in school children in early age. In 1979, the then president laid down the foundation stone of Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Complex. In the same year ophthalmic human resource development program launched with the assistance of International Agency for prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and Foresight –Australia. The need was also felt for an expansion of ye care services across the country, with the support of of Andheri-HIife e.V of Germany and with local initiative eight satellite eye hospitals each of 50-bed capacity was set up at different strategic position- Dhaka, Khunla, Dinajpur, Sirajgang, Chandpur, Mymenshing, Moulovibazar and Patuakhali being the last.
To cope with ever expnding eye care activities throughout the county the need for the trained ophthalmic human resourc was felt acutely, accordingly the institution has taken human resource development programs for the doctors, nurse, paramedics and other technical personnel.
In 1991, the establishment of the institute of “ Community Ophthalmology of the University of Chittagong at Chittagong Eye Infirmary and Training Complex is a milestone. The institute offers courses in Community Ophthalmology leading to diploma to doctors and has, by now made a significant imact in the field of community ophthalmology.