Oryx International School students were privileged to be visited by representatives of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, when it recently landed in Doha. 285 million people in the world are blind or visually impaired and yet 80% of these could be prevented or cured. Orbis’ goal is to create a world where everyone has access to quality eye care. More than 30 years ago, leaders of the medical and aviation industries forged an alliance to create a mobile hospital – The Flying Eye - to bring facilities and training to doctors and nurses in developing countries.

The Flying Eye Hospital is a fully equipped mobile teaching facility that specialises in treating conditions of the eye. It is housed within a MD-10 aircraft donated by FedEx. Volunteer doctors bring their skills and knowledge to local medical professionals around the world, through hands-on trainings and lectures. All hospitals have follow up visits to see how the doctors and their patients are managing.

The Flying Eye Hospital visited Doha to celebrate the Qatar Creating Vision initiative, launched by the Qatar Fund for Development in 2015. The initiative will provide 5.5 million eye screenings and treatments to children in India and Bangladesh by 2020.

Students were visited in school by Dr. Rahul Ali, the Country Director for Orbis India and Florence Banchu, Head of Partnerships in the Middle East.

Dr. Rahul kept the students captivated by explaining the different problems that we can experience with our eyesight and that 80% of a child’s learning is visual. The students were very active in asking questions about why some people couldn’t see close up, why we have different coloured eyes or just to let Dr. Raul know that they had experienced having an eye test. The children learned that healthy eyesight results in a healthy life, enjoyable schooling and great test results.

School Principal, Jarlath Madine, commented: “This was an amazing opportunity to step on board The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital and learn about how it can help people who are suffering from a variety of eye conditions. We were all fascinated by the work undertaken on board this aircraft and the transformative effect it has on the people who are treated. It was a privilege to see this facility at first hand”.