The flying eye hospital crew.

3 Continents, 5 Countries and 15 Weeks of Training Ahead

January 2018

The Flying Eye Hospital crew is ready and excited for another exciting year on board our unique aircraft. In the upcoming 2018 year, we will be on three continents for a total of 15 weeks of training!

2017 was a hectic, but fruitful year for the Flying Eye Hospital team, Volunteer Faculty and country offices. We completed 10 weeks of training projects in Vietnam, Cameroon and Bangladesh in the Summer and Fall, while conducting five fundraising tours in Dublin, London, Doha, Dubai and Moffett during the Spring and Winter.

Flying eye hospital takes off.

We hosted many high profile visitors; from the Minister of Public Health in Cameroon to Her Royal Highness, the Countess of Wessex in Bangladesh and attracted unprecedented attention from top-tier international media, including CNN, BBC, CNBC, Business Insider and VICE’s Global Health, which raised the profile of Orbis and promoted our sight saving work tremendously around the world.

The Countess of Wessex joined Orbis on an adventure to Bangladesh and Qatar

Our team will be even busier in 2018! The Flying Eye Hospital will land in five countries across South America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa to conduct 15 weeks of training projects. We will be in Peru and Barbados in April and May, China and Mongolia in June and August and finally to Ethiopia in October. We are also planning three goodwill tours in Florida, Dubai and California to meet and greet our supporters and potential donors in February, November and December.

We are excited and getting everything ready for our full-year projects ahead. Each Flying Eye Hospital project is not only unique and tailored to the needs of our partners and local ophthalmic communities, but also supports the on-going efforts of our country projects and the local eye health system.

Jay Bourgeois

Director of Orbis Flying Eye Hospital

For example, Orbis has a long-term partnership with the Ministry of Health, La Libertad Regional Health Management in Peru and our partner hospital, Instituto Regional de Oftalmología (IRO), in Trujillo. This year will mark the 14th Flying Eye Hospital project in the country since its beginning in 1982, and the sixth with IRO since 1991.

The second Flying Eye Hospital program of the year will take place in Barbados in May, focusing on regional ophthalmic needs through simulation and surgical demonstration. Eye care professionals from Caribbean islands including Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana and Barbados will participate in the training.  This will also strengthen Orbis’s presence in the Caribbean region. 

I’m looking forward to returning to China (Linyi) and Mongolia (Ulaanbaatar) this summer. Our projects will focus on pediatric ophthalmology and childhood blindness, which support Orbis North Asia’s long-term projects. Also, we aim to create public awareness on common eye diseases and advocate for proper eye care and the importance of eye health.

Dr. Antonio Jaramillo

Head of Clinical Services on the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital

Last but not least, the Flying Eye Hospital will celebrate World Sight Day and the 20th anniversary of Orbis’s blindness prevention work in Ethiopia during October. We will work with our long-term partner, Menelik II Hospital, on sub-specialty hands-on training, including cataract, glaucoma, cornea, pediatrics, oculoplastics and retina. Previously, Orbis has worked closely with the hospital on curriculum development and building its sub-specialty services in the country. 

So yes, a busy year ahead! We look forward to meeting up with many of you along the way as we all work together to change how the world sees.