For the first time, the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital housed within a DC-10 aircraft arrived in Doha. The flying hospital offers visitors a unique experience of touring the world’s only ‘hospital with wings’. In partnership with Doha International Airport ‘DIA’, Orbis will be hosting four days of tours with visitors to aircraft, including Patrick Muller – Executive Vice President of DIA, staff from Qatar Airways, the US, UK and South African Ambassadors, philanthropic organisations Shaffalah, Al Noor Institute and Reach Out to Asia, as well as students, parents and staff from long-time Orbis supporter ACS International School ‘Doha’.
Orbis hopes these tours will lay the foundation for strong, long-lasting partnerships in Qatar. “We want to raise awareness of the 39 million people in the world who are blind, as 80% of them could see again with the right eye care,” said Dr Robert Walters, Orbis Chairman.
The Flying Eye Hospital provides teaching and training to eye care professional. This skills transfer and knowledge is taught by volunteer surgeons, nurses and biomedical engineers through specific teaching programmes, both on the aircraft and through hospital-based long term partnership programmes
In future, Orbis plans to explore potential youth development schemes in Qatar, where students from the region can travel to experience the work the Orbis medical team do first-hand with their host partners to save sight in developing countries.