ORBIS UK is a London-based affiliate of ORBIS International. ORBIS International is a nonprofit global development organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Our mission is to preserve and restore sight by strengthening the capacity of local institutions in their efforts to prevent and treat blindness. Our goal is a world in which no one is needlessly blind, where quality eye care is available to everyone. Since 1982, ORBIS volunteers and staff have restored the vision and transformed the lives of more than 12.5 million people in 88 countries.
How does ORBIS bring sight to those in need?
ORBIS provides the tools, training and technology for local doctors and other health care personnel to develop workable and lasting solutions to the tragedy of avoidable blindness in their country. By building up the long-term capabilities of eye care institutions (capacity building), ORBIS helps its partners reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable.
Essential elements of capacity building include:
- Training eye care professionals and health workers
- Introducing ophthalmic technology and related management systems
- Improving the quality and accessibility of eye care
Public awareness and advocacy
In addition to building up a country’s eye care infrastructure, ORBIS promotes public awareness of blindness treatment and prevention and advocates for national policies affecting eye health. Examples include the introduction of latrines and face washing in parts of rural Ethiopia to stop the spread of trachoma, and encouraging legislators in Peru and Uganda to enact national eye banking policies.
Programmes, projects and the Flying Eye Hospital
ORBIS integrates capacity building, public awareness and advocacy into its action plan through several avenues:
- Country programmes
In five priority countries — Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam — ORBIS develops and implements comprehensive eye care and blindness prevention efforts. Long-term regional projects are also underway in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.
- ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital
The world’s only airborne ophthalmic training facility serves as a focal point for educational programmes and advocacy efforts. Onboard, eye care professionals from developing nations work side-by-side with the international ORBIS medical team to perform surgery, learn new skills and restore sight.
- Hospital-based training programmes
ORBIS conducts intensive specialized training at local hospitals year round and supports fellowships for talented partner eye care professionals to undertake advanced study with mentors at some of the world’s leading eye care institutions.
- ORBIS Cyber-Sight®
This cutting edge telemedicine initiative uses the Internet to connect doctors throughout the world with ORBIS volunteer ophthalmologists for professional mentoring, patient care consultation and online continuing medical education.
To date, ORBIS has trained more than 262,000 eye care professionals aboard the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital and in local hospitals. Offices with long-term programmes dedicated to preventing blindness and restoring sight are located in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam. ORBIS development offices are located in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Macau, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.