George Appasamy from Preston has just returned home from a sight-saving mission having swapped his daily commute to the Royal Preston Hospital where he works as an Intermediate Theatre Practitioner, for the bustle of Panama City.
As a medical volunteer for ORBIS (www.orbis.org.uk), an international sight saving charity, George taught local nurses vital skills for treating ophthalmic conditions that are common to the area and have robbed the community of a brighter future.
The issue of preventable blindness has reached staggering proportions. 39 million people in the world are blind but 80% could be treated or cured. 90% of these people are in developing countries where eye care facilities are often limited.
Simple, cheap and quick operations like that of removing a cataract can save a person from losing their livelihood, independence and stop them becoming a burden to their family. But the skill and equipment needed to help are often lacking in the places where they are most at need. ORBIS works tirelessly to change this situation and over the years has helped to further educate 262,000 medical professionals.
George Appasamy worked with the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a plane which hosts a fully equipped operating theatre and laser suite, with dedicated teaching facilities on-board. Through their missions and training, ORBIS has to date helped to provide 23 million treatments in 92 countries.
George used his annual leave to take part in this trip and has been involved with the charity for a number of years, having previously travelled to Ethiopia on a similar mission.
George says; “ORBIS does a fantastic job and I very much enjoy volunteering with them. Teaching is the most important part of what we do. By working with the local medical teams we ensure their knowledge of new procedures and techniques is enhanced, so they are better equipped to manage the eye conditions afflicting their community.
He continues; “Working on the Flying Eye Hospital is amazing and a very special experience. ORBIS brings together a brilliant group of experts and the outcomes of the procedures we perform are life changing. I look forward to my next trip with the charity.”
For information on ORBIS or further images, please contact Natasha Lee, Communications Officer on 020 7608 7284 or Nlee@orbis.org.uk
Notes to Editor:
ORBIS provides the tools, training and technology necessary for local hospitals to develop workable and lasting solutions to fight the tragedy of unnecessary blindness.
By building their long-term capabilities, ORBIS helps its partner institutions take action - to reach a state where they can provide, on their own, quality eye care services that are affordable, accessible and sustainable.
To learn more about ORBIS, please visit www.orbis.org.uk