FedEx delivers on promise to help save sight worldwide
NEW YORK, NY, Apr 12, 2005 -
Eye care professionals in India, home to nearly half of the world’s 37 million blind, are the latest beneficiaries of an alliance between FedEx Corp and ORBIS International. From March 17-20, FedEx sponsored a one-week ORBIS training program in New Delhi on eye banking and corneal blindness for 65 local eye care professionals. These individuals are responsible for training other doctors, nurses and eye banking specialists to create a ripple effect that maximizes the program’s impact.
Over 50 FedEx Express employees came out to support the blindness prevention program by distributing eye donor information, serving as translators and organizing informational tours of the world's only Flying Eye Hospital.
"I am really proud to be with a company that supports a program like ORBIS and to help create awareness in our community about corneal blindness and the importance of donating your eyes," said Puneet Sharma, a FedEx Express territory manager in India who passed out eye donor information outside a bustling New Delhi shopping center.
India’s President, Dr. Abdul Kalam, also visited the FedEx-sponsored program and pledged his commitment to international efforts to prevent blindness from avoidable conditions.
"The promising news is 75 percent of blindness in India - and globally - could be prevented or cured if quality eye care services and adequately trained eye care personnel were accessible to all people. That’s where ORBIS and FedEx come in," explained Susan Glass, the charity’s director of corporate relations.
FedEx has sponsored similar skill-transfer programs in China and the Philippines, most of which have taken place aboard the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, a DC-10 aircraft that contains an operating room and training facility. Many of the volunteer aviation crew are FedEx Express pilots and flight engineers.
FedEx has supported ORBIS for over 20 years. With the launch of the
Delivering Sight Worldwide initiative in 2001, FedEx took the concept of corporate social responsibility to a new level by funding multiple programs and substantially increasing their gift-in-kind support for the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital. In 2004 alone, FedEx’s support enabled ORBIS to expand training opportunities by 20 percent and perform 67 percent more sight-saving surgeries.
"ORBIS is extremely grateful for the ongoing alliance with FedEx, which has enabled us to reach more than 18 million people with eye care solution since our first program in 1982," said Glass.
, the world's largest air-express shipper, uses their expertise in aviation by supplying pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians and parts on-board every important humanitarian flight of the ORBIS DC-10. Educating people about the need to care for their own eyes and recognize early warning signs of eye disease is another crucial tenant of the corporate sponsorship program. An 18-month FedEx-sponsored campaign to raise public awareness of glaucoma is currently underway in China’s northeast province of Liaoning. Launched in April 2004, the campaign includes community outreach by local employees of FedEx Express and aims to expose 20 percent of the province’s population to the need for early detection and appropriate treatment of glaucoma.
In recognition of the contributions of FedEx employees around the globe who have help advanced ORBIS’s mission, ORBIS presented the FedEx family with the ORBIS Global Humanitarian Award in 2004.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
- Broadcast quality footage and high resolution digital images of FedEx volunteers on ORBIS missions are available
- In the United States, contact Brooke Johnson, 1-646-361-0061, firstname.lastname@example.org
- In Canada, contact Pauline Tardif, 1-613-241-9282, email@example.com