Flying Eye Hospital to Restore Sight to the Blind While Transferring Sight-Saving Techniques to Libyan Doctors
New York, NY, September 6, 2005
– ORBIS International, a nonprofit organization whose objective is to rid the world of unnecessary blindness, announced that the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital landed today in Tripoli, Libya to conduct an intensive two week sight-saving medical training program for the nation’s eye care professionals. Invited by the Government of Libya and the Tripoli Eye Hospital, ORBIS is the first health NGO to work in Libya since international sanctions were imposed in 1992. Decades of poor relations with the West resulted in the lack of training in essential subspecialties for Libya’s ophthalmic community.
We are honored to be the first health NGO to return to Libya," said Oliver Foot, President of ORBIS International. "ORBIS is committed to fighting blindness around the world. By bringing our Flying Eye Hospital to a country, we do more than help people see. We share and transfer sight-saving skills to local doctors and nurses who can then restore sight to many more patients and pass those skills on to other medical professionals."
The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a unique, fully equipped, state-of-the-art eye surgery hospital and teaching facility housed inside a DC-10 aircraft, arrived at Matiga International Airport, in Tripoli, on September 6 and will depart on September 25. Libyan eye surgeons, ophthalmic nurses and technicians will work aboard the plane alongside ORBIS volunteer specialists to improve their sight-saving skills. ORBIS’s multi-national team, consisting of 25 professionals representing 15 countries, will also work at Triploi Eye Hospital, Libya’s leading ophthalmic center.
"There are tens of thousands of blind people in Libya who could see again in they received proper medical treatment," continued Mr. Foot. "By working with Libyan doctors, ORBIS hopes to make a major difference in the lives of thousands of people who are suffering needlessly."
During the past 24 years, ORBIS has worked in more than 80 countries to eliminate blindness, restoring sight to the blind and transferring sight-saving skills to more than 90,000 doctors and other medical professionals. It is estimated that as many as 22.5 million blind people have had their sight restored or preserved as a result of ORBIS’s work. From surgery and lectures aboard the ORBIS health, nursing and technical training programs to year-round, sustained blindness prevention programs – ORBIS has become a firmly established and recognized organization in the ongoing struggle to prevent unnecessary blindness.
Endorsed by 70 heads of state, by the World Health Organization and by three Secretary-Generals of the United Nations, ORBIS has been praised as a diplomatic ambassador promoting cooperation between nations and an effective organization in the fight against world blindness. To learn more about ORBIS’s sight-saving work, please visit www.orbis.org.
Brooke Johnson, US Public Relations, ORBIS International, +1 (646)674-5532, Brooke.firstname.lastname@example.org
Rekha Sadasivan, Public Relations, ORBIS Canada, +1(416)413-1624, email@example.com