According to the World Health Organization:
- 39 million people in the world are estimated to be blind
- 80 percent of all visual impairment can be avoided or cured
- About 90 percent of the world's visually impaired live in developing countries
ORBIS International was established to address these disturbing statistics. In 1982, its unique aircraft, the
Hospital, took to the skies. For the first time ever, a fully-equipped, state-of-the-art teaching hospital had been installed inside an airplane. It was now possible to bring sight-saving skills to developing countries around the world.
Since that first flight in 1982, ORBIS has:
- Carried out hospital based programs in 90 countries, including those visited by the Flying Eye Hospital
- Trained 325,000 ophthalmologists, nurses, biomedical engineers and other health care workers
- Provided medical and eye treatments to 23.3 million patients, of which 7 million have been children
- Established a long-term presence in the following countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Vietnam, Cameroon, Ethiopia, South Africa, Zambia, Peru and Haiti.
- Developed an active pool of over 400 leading doctors, nurses and other eye care specialists from around the world who volunteer to teach during one- to two-week sight-saving programs.
- Created a cutting edge telemedicine project, Cyber-Sight, which has delivered online consultations and training in over 7,500 patient cases with over 34,000 exchanges between tele-mentors and those doctors submitting cases for review
The majority of ORBIS projects concentrate on avoidable blindness among children. ORBIS devotes much of its efforts to the treatment and prevention of the following diseases and conditions:
ORBIS has offices in the United States, Canada,
Macau, South Africa,
United Kingdom and
Vietnam. Please direct media inquiries regarding the Flying Eye Hospital to Flavia Draganus, Communications Manager, Flying Eye Hospital, or contact the media relations officer in the country you are reporting on.