Flying Eye Hospital landing in Peru

Flying Eye Hospital lands in Peru

April 2018

The Flying Eye Hospital has touched down in Trujillo, Peru, for a three-week training program to help strengthen the skills of eye teams right across the region.

Vision loss in Peru

A huge surge in the prevalence of diabetes right across Latin America has had a dramatic impact on vision loss. In Peru, Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is now the sixth leading cause of blindness - a statistic which is only going to get worse as everyone living with diabetes is potentially at risk of developing it. DR will eventually lead to irreversible blindness if left untreated, but can be avoided if detected early enough and managed properly.

However, according to Lions International Eye Foundation only half of the 55,000 over 30s with diabetes in La Libertad have been diagnosed.

A Peruvian mother holds a baby up, dressed in a sailor top

7.3% of babies are born prematurely in Peru

Meanwhile, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding eye disease that affects premature infants and is the leading cause of blindness among children in Latin America. According to the World Health Organization (2010), 7.3% of babies are born prematurely in Peru, with an estimated 8,200 infants at risk of Retinopathy of Prematurity. Unfortunately, most hospitals in the country have inadequate resources to address the disease and health staff have a poor understanding of the issues.

We have identified a critical need to tackle these two complicated and less understood causes of eye disease.

The Flying Eye Hospital arrives

This is the sixth time the Flying Eye Hospital has landed in Peru after making its first visit all the way back in 1982. The Flying Eye Hospital has improved significantly since the old DC-8 touched down, and even though massive inroads have been made, the situation in Peru remains very challenging.

The Flying Eye Hospital crew stand in front of the plane after landing in Peru

The Flying Eye Hospital and its wonderful crew land in Trujillo, Peru.

But thanks to the strength of our partnerships with La Libertad Regional Health Management (GERESA) and Instituto Regional de Oftalmología (IRO) we’re confident our long-term projects will help improve the quality of eye care for generations to come.

We’ve been working with IRO in Trujillo since 1991 and are very proud to see it grow into a Center of Excellence in ophthalmology and training.

Orbis's IRO partners welcome us to Peru by holding up the word 'WELCOME'

The crew received a warm welcome from our partners

Our Volunteer Faculty will provide continued medical education tailored for local eye teams through lectures, case discussions, surgical observation, hands-on training, workshops and symposia.

Lectures and surgeries on board the Flying Eye Hospital will be broadcast live to remote participants around the world via Cybersight, our awards winning telemedicine platform.

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