Nick Edmeades, from Exeter, has just returned home from a sight-saving assignment having swapped his daily commute to Musgrove Park Hospital where he works as an Ophthalmology Registrar, for the bustle of Panama City.
As an associate medical volunteer for ORBIS (www.orbis.org.uk), an international sight saving charity, Nick was part of a team which taught local doctors and nurses’ vital skills for treating ophthalmic conditions that are common to the area, robbing the community of a brighter future.
The issue of preventable blindness has reached staggering proportions. 39 million people in the world are blind but 80% could be treated or cured. 90% of these people are in developing countries where eye care facilities are often limited.
Simple, cheap and quick operations like that of removing a cataract can save a person from losing their livelihood, independence and stop them becoming a burden to their family. But the skill and equipment needed to help are often lacking in the places where they are most at need. ORBIS works tirelessly to change this situation and over the years has helped to further educate 262,000 medical professionals.
Nick Edmeades worked for two weeks with the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a plane which hosts a fully equipped operating theatre and laser suite, with dedicated teaching facilities on-board. Through their missions and training, ORBIS has to date helped to provide 23 million treatments in 92 countries.
Nick says; “ORBIS does a fantastic job and I really enjoyed being a part of a mission which works to expand the treatment options people have access to in developing countries. By helping to further educate the local medical teams, we can ensure these experts are in a better position to treat and manage the eye conditions prevalent in their community.
He continues; “Working on the Flying Eye Hospital is amazing experience and I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shadow some of the best Ophthalmologists in the world. I have learnt a lot from my involvement with the charity and look forward to utilising this new information in the future.”
For information on ORBIS or further images, please contact Natasha Lee, Communications Officer on 020 7608 7284 or Nlee@orbis.org.uk
Notes to Editor:
ORBIS provides the tools, training and technology necessary for local hospitals to develop workable and lasting solutions to fight the tragedy of unnecessary blindness.
By building their long-term capabilities, ORBIS helps its partner institutions take action - to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable.
To learn more about ORBIS, please visit www.orbis.org.uk