Phnom Penh, Cambodia – December 10, 2007 – History was made today in Cambodia as the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only airborne ophthalmic surgical and training facility housed inside a converted DC-10 aircraft, touched down for the first time in the capital city of Phnom Penh to conduct a two-week intensive medical training program. Marking the 100th program of the DC-10, the inaugural visit comes at the invitation of the Cambodian Ministry of Health and is supported by the National Program for Eye Health and the Cambodian Ophthalmological Society.
“ORBIS is deeply honored to be invited to
Cambodia to carry out a surgical skills-exchange program with our Cambodian colleagues,” said Geoffrey Holland, ORBIS International executive director. “We hope that our work together will have a far reaching effect on the future practice of ophthalmology in
Cambodia and lead to a long-term collaboration to benefit the many citizens whose blindness can be cured or prevented.”
From December 10-21, more than 50 Cambodian doctors and 80 nurses will work side-by-side with an international medical team on board the
Hospital and within the
Hospital to restore sight to the blind.
Sponsored by FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), the Phnom Penh Flying Eye Hospital program aims to enhance the skills of the local ophthalmic community so that they are better equipped to treat and prevent eye diseases prevalent among the Cambodian population. An estimated 140,000 people currently suffer from blindness in
“The ophthalmic community in
Cambodia welcomes ORBIS and supports this sight-saving program. We can benefit from the advanced training offered by ORBIS, and continue to use these skills to help the blind of
Cambodia retain and regain their sight,” said Dr. Nuth Sokhom, minister of health. “I believe this inaugural visit of the
Hospital will be a great success.”
Phnom Penh Program Offers Outstanding Educational Opportunity
In partnership with the National Program for Eye Health and
Hospital, ORBIS will conduct an intensive two-week training program to improve local ophthalmic surgical techniques, nursing skills and equipment maintenance practices.
Hospital program, approximately 50 Cambodians will receive free surgeries, laser treatments or medical intervention to preserve, improve or restore their vision. Through hands-on training and surgical demonstrations, crucial blindness prevention tools will be transferred to 52 local ophthalmologists and eye doctors and more than 80 nurses. To expand the reach beyond
Cambodia, regional participants from the neighboring countries of
Myanmar will also participate in the program.
“We are very pleased that
Phnom Penh is hosting the
Hospital,” said Dr. Eng Huot, secretary of state for health. “We are looking forward to similar visits in the future to benefit eye doctors and blind people in
In addition, with 10 percent of blindness in
Cambodia caused by uncorrected refractive error; many Cambodians are blind simply because they need glasses. Supporting the Cambodian Ophthalmic Society’s refraction training initiative, ORBIS will provide additional training to 21 refractive nurses.
FedEx Helps Deliver Sight Worldwide
For more than 20 years, FedEx has facilitated the humanitarian efforts of ORBIS around the world by providing financial, operational and logistical support. FedEx is again committing its resources as the sponsor of the
In conjunction with the
Phnom Penh program, FedEx and ORBIS will award an international medical training fellowship to a Cambodian ophthalmologist. The FedEx Fellow will be announced at the conclusion of the
Hospital program. Returning to
Cambodia after training, the FedEx Fellow will have the opportunity to put newly-acquired skills, knowledge and experience into practice.
“At FedEx, we believe in training to empower our staff to excel in their jobs. The FedEx Fellows Program is in line with our people-first philosophy and represents an exciting way for our organization to help ORBIS extend the value of its medical programs,” said David Ross, regional vice president, FedEx Express South Pacific. “By connecting the worlds of business, charity and academia, FedEx can help improve the quality of people’s lives in
Cambodia and around the world.”
To help bring this unique initiative to
Cambodia, and other parts of the world, FedEx donates critically-needed aircraft maintenance and equipment for the
Hospital. FedEx pilots volunteer to fly ORBIS’s one-of-a-kind aircraft and provide recurrent training for other ORBIS volunteer pilots. In addition, FedEx ships medical supplies to ORBIS program sites around the world at no cost, and provides volunteer ground-support whenever possible.
This program would not have been possible without the support of our local partners. Thank you to
Hospital, Phnom Penh Hotel and
About ORBIS International
ORBIS International is a nonprofit global development organization dedicated to saving sight worldwide. Since 1982, ORBIS programs have enhanced the skills of over 154,000 eye care professionals in 85 countries and have provided direct eye care treatment to more than 4.4 million people. To learn more about ORBIS, visit www.orbis.org.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $36 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 280,000 employees and contractors to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
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Celia Yeung, ORBIS Public Affairs Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline Bergman, ORBIS Communications Manager, email@example.com 016 213 948
Dr. Do Seiha, National Program for Eye Health Coordinator, 012 840 796