ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital Provides Catalyst for Hope and Change in the Middle East

Published June 17th, 2008 - 05:01 GMT

ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital Provides Catalyst for Hope and Change in the Middle East

As blindness remains a major public health problem, unique aircraft conducts ophthalmic treatment and training program in Syria

Following goodwill visits to Kuwait City and Dubai, ORBIS International, operator of the world's only airborne teaching facility -- the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital -- brings its sight-saving mission to Syria. Invited by Syria's Ministry of Health and the Aleppo Eye Specialist Hospital, ORBIS and its multinational medical team are conducting an intensive training program, from June 15 to 26, to enhance the skills of the local ophthalmic community so that they are better equipped to treat and prevent eye diseases prevalent among the nation's population.

"ORBIS is an advocate for supportive national eye care services and policies in the Middle East, where many countries are in need of improved standards of eye care," said Geoffrey Holland, executive director and CEO of ORBIS International. "And with 37 million people blind in the world today -- most of them suffering quite needlessly -- ORBIS serves as a really practical example of peaceful international cooperation, at a time when the need for such cooperation has surely never been greater."

ORBIS conducted goodwill tours in Kuwait and Dubai as a way to explore future collaboration in eye care and education in the hope of widening the international network of people dedicated to eliminating the growing tragedy of unnecessary blindness.

Global Cooperation Brings Vision, Restores Hope

ORBIS benefits from a global pool of volunteer medical professionals dedicated to the preservation and restoration of sight. These individuals, who donate their time to work with ORBIS, are trained and certified experts with teaching experience in ophthalmology, anesthesiology, nursing, biomedical engineering, eye banking and other related eye care fields.

In Syria, hands-on training, surgical demonstration, diagnostic and post-operative consultations and lectures will be provided by:

-- Dr. William Basuk, University of California San Diego
-- Dr. Andrea Molinari, Universidad Central Del Ecuador
-- Dr. Brian Sippy, University of Montana
-- Dr. Christopher Khng, National University of Singapore
-- Dr. Mark Cepela, University of Cincinnati
-- Dr. Jay Fleischman, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (NY, NY)
-- Dr. George Woods, Alaska Surgery Institute
-- Ms. Ann-Marie Ablett, RN, University Hospital of Wales (UK)


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