A Shining Light for ORBIS

During the 18th World Route Development Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in late September and early October this year, the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital Douglas DC-10 was stationed at Al Bateen Executive Airport.  Delegates were invited to tour the aircraft and see the facilities onboard this modified freighter aircraft, including the operating room where volunteer surgeons and local doctors perform surgery to help eliminate avoidable blindness around the world.

During its stay in Abu Dhabi, The HUB took the opportunity to visit the aircraft and learn more about the tremendous work of the hundreds of volunteers that support the project work of the charity and how modification work is progressing on a replacement McDonnell Douglas MD-10, which will become ORBIS’ next generation flying hospital. 

In our exclusive videos we take you inside the aircraft and speak directly to the crew and medical professionals, providing an insight into the unique aircraft and the way in which it and its successor empowers eye care teams in developing countries. 

In the first video we look at the aircraft and speak to Jack McHale, Director of International Affairs, ORBIS about its design and work on its replacement.

Jack McHale, Director of International Affairs ORBIS.

In the second video we speak to Dr Ahmed Gomaa, ORBIS Medical Director, Flying Eye Hospital, about the medical side and how the aircraft becomes a full operating theatre and training classroom for local doctors when it arrives at its mission location.

Dr Ahmed Gomaa, ORBIS Medical Director, Flying Eye Hospital.

We have recently learnt some feedback from the aircraft’s attendance at World Routes.  Among the delegates to attend one of the aircraft visits was Dan Carstens, from Connecticut Airport Authority’s marketing and business development department.  During his tour he gave the ORBIS team a number of company torches in the shape of aircraft to pass on to the children they would be treating on their next stops in Ethiopia and Zambia.

With this African mission now complete, Kimberly Lipman-White of the Flying Eye Hospital told The HUB: “It helped distract them [the kids] from being nervous about their surgeries and even our staff enjoyed them.  They actually came in quite useful when we lost power in a Zambian hospital as we used them to illuminate the eye and continue the surgery until the power was able to be recovered.”

This shows that all donations are of benefit to the charity.  Please click here to learn more about ORBIS and its work to eliminate avoidable blindness.