Mongolia: Flying Eye Hospital wrap-up

September 2018

The Flying Eye Hospital left Mongolia earlier this month following the completion of another memorable and successful project. This three-week project was the eighth time the Flying Eye Hospital was in Ulaanbaatar and it lived up to its reputation for being one of the most distinct, hospitable and special project locations.

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The Flying Eye Hospital looking beautiful on the runway at Ulaanbaatar Airport

The national ophthalmic training program focused on both adult and pediatric subspecialty training including pediatric cataract, oculoplastic, strabismus, retinopathy of prematurity and refractive error in partnership with the National Center for Maternal and Child Health, while the adult curriculum focused on adult cataract, glaucoma and retina diseases with the First Central Hospital.

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Patients enjoying a laugh during screening day at First Central Hospital in Ulaanbaatar

This was the third Flying Eye Hospital project that had a week dedicated solely to simulation training. This innovative and novel approach was very well received and allowed more doctors and residents to gain hands-on experience in a safe and controlled environment.

In addition to all the programmatic activities, we also hosted 49 individual and corporate supporters, students and ambassadors from the US, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, plus two film crews from FedEx and World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH)! All to help raise awareness of avoidable blindness and shine a light on the issues ahead of World Sight Day.

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Orbis CEO Bob Ranck shares a moment with H.E. Ms. Sarangerel Davaajantsan, Minister of Health of Mongolia

Orbis CEO Bob Ranck was also in town and attended the opening ceremony and gave a special tour of the plane to the Mongolian Minister of Health.

Dr. Sergey Diorditsa, the WHO Representative of Mongolia and the technical officer for non-communicable disease, Dr. J. Naranchimeg, toured the plane and discussed our long-term program plans. After the visit, they shared the following message on the WHO Mongolia Facebook page:

We ran a public awareness campaign on the prevention of adult and childhood blindness by broadcasting two public service announcements on a huge outdoor screen in the city center from Aug 12 to Sept 8.

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Families arrive for screening exams following the successful public service announcements

Finally, we hosted a group of nine high school students and two influencers from the Hong Kong Student Ambassadors program. The group had an amazing time learning about the issues and put together this fantastic video.

Hong Kong Student Ambassadors created this fantastic video of their visit to Mongolia

As always, our Mongolian colleagues were excellent hosts and shared their rich and exciting cultural heritage with our staff and volunteer team. We are grateful to our hosts and all the volunteers for making this such successful project!