Ann-Marie Ablett, who lives in Coity, has recently returned home from a volunteer medical assignment with the international sight-saving charity ORBIS (www.orbis.org.uk), having swapped the sights of The University Hospital of Wales for the vibrancy of Kolkata, India.
ORBIS operates in some of the poorest communities in the world. They not only offer treatment to those suffering from reduced vision or blindness, but also provide training to local nurses and doctors in advanced medical techniques, to ensure there is a long term improvement in eye care within the communities visited.
According to the World Health Organisation, 39 million people globally are blind but 80% could be treated or cured. 90% of these people live within developing countries where eye care facilities are often limited. The number of people suffering with preventable blindness has reached overwhelming proportions.
Many eye conditions can be treated by relatively simple, cheap and quick operations, such as that of removing a cataract. However the skill and equipment required 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.
Ann-Marie, spent two weeks volunteering with the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a plane which hosts a fully equipped operating theatre, laser suite and lecture theatre on-board, and one week volunteering within a local hospital.
The dedicated nurse, who is from Ireland, used her annual leave to take part in this trip and volunteers with ORBIS several times a year. She is an enthusiastic member of ORBIS’s volunteer medical team and has been involved with the charity for eleven years, having previously travelled to countries such Syria, Laos, Indonesia and India.
Ann-Marie says; “The look of hope and trust which greets us on screening day is daunting- but as the role of ORBIS is to teach, it is very reassuring to know that at the end of the programme, the doctors and nurses will have obtained many skills and have personally developed their knowledge because of their exposure to ORBIS. Better patient care will be available to all patients within the Country resulting in a long term impact.”
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