India shoulders the world’s largest burden of blindness. Of a total population exceeding 1 billion, as many as 15 million people are blind, with an additional 52 million visually impaired.
Among those are 320,000 children under the age of 16, constituting one fifth of the world’s blind children. Fifty percent of these children could be cured if adequate facilities and trained staff were available.
This little girl from New Delhi was
treated for strabismus on board the
ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital.
In response to this crisis, ORBIS launched the India Childhood Blindness Initiative. Through this initiative, ORBIS plans to develop 50 pediatric ophthalmology centers across the country by 2012, with ORBIS-trained staff in place to treat childhood blindness.
Of the 24 ORBIS projects in
India in 2008, 19 were designed to strengthen children’s eye care services.
ORBIS began working in India in 1988. It opened a formal office in India in 2000.
ORBIS's work in India focuses on:
Arjun Kumbhar, 2, was treated for
glaucoma at the Lions NAB Eye
Hospital -- an ORBIS partner.
- Childhood blindness
- Corneal disease and eye banking
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Advocacy work
During 2008, through 25 projects:
- More than 9,500 doctors and other eye care staff received training
- Nearly 195,000 children and adults received non-surgical ophthalmic medical treatment
- More than 22,000 eye surgeries were performed
ORBIS "firsts" in India
ORBIS has achieved numerous “firsts” regarding eye care in
ORBIS pioneered the introduction of pediatric ophthalmology services in seven rural districts of
India and raised public awareness of how pediatric blindness could be prevented.
- ORBIS built the first pediatric ophthalmology center in northern
India, at Dr. Shroff’s
- On behalf of the nation’s eye banks, ORBIS strengthened the concept of a hospital-based corneal retrieval program on a national level. This concept was instituted in more than a dozen hospitals in
India and served as a model for Sandhani Eye Bank in
- During an ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital visit to New Delhi in 2005, a training surgical procedure onboard the plane was broadcast live by satellite to hospitals across India for the first time.
- ORBIS introduced Cyber-Sight, ORBIS’s telemedicine initiative, to provide worldwide, Internet-based ophthalmic patient consultation for free to any qualified partner in
- Indian doctors received training on virtual reality ophthalmic surgical simulators for the first time during
The ORBIS India office also oversees projects in
Nepal. ORBIS partners in
Hospital • Christian Medical College & Hospital • Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences • Drashti Netralaya • Dr. Shroff’s
Hospital • Eye Bank Association of India • Eye Bank Society of Rajasthan • Himalaya Institute of Medical Sciences •
Hospital • Indian
Health Management and Research • Indian Institute of Management •
Hospital • Khairabad Eye Hospital • L.V. Prasad Eye Institute •
Hospital • Little Flower Hospital •
Hospital • MGM Eye Hospital • Nepal Netra Joyti Sangh • Netra Niramay Niketan • Ramakrishna Mission Hospital • Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Kolkata • Srikiran Institute of ophthalmology • Sankara Nethralaya •
Sri Rana Ambika Shah
Nepal) • Sadguru Netra Chikitsalaya • Shri Ganapati Nethrayalaya •
Center • Sri Sankaradeva Nethralaya • Shri Vivekenanda Youth Movement (SVYM) • Suraj Eye Institute • The Global Hospital and Research Centre • Vision 2020 India Forum
*Blindness is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/60 or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 10 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction.
** Low vision is defined as visual acuity of less than 6/18 but equal to or better than 3/60, or a corresponding visual field loss to less than 20 degrees in the better eye with best possible correction.