Flying Eye Hospital Lands in Ghana

November 2019

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital has touched down in Accra, Ghana, for a three-week teaching and training project. It’s the third time the plane has been in Ghana where our teams will be working alongside our usual partners - the Ministry of Health, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

The plane was flown by husband and wife team, Pete and Cheryl Pitzer, who touched down in Kotoka International Airport after an 8 hour flight from Dubai - a romantic and heartwarming first for the Orbis team.

[Landing footage filmed by YouTube aviation blogger Sam Chui - turn sound on]


Once our MD-10 aircraft was converted from plane mode to hospital, our world-leading volunteers hit the ground running welcoming their first patients, restoring sight and improving the skills of local eye teams.

[Timelapse footage filmed by YouTube aviation blogger Sam Chui - turn sound on]


Our partnership with the eye health community in Ghana first began in 2014 when we helped set up projects to improve the quality of pediatric eye services and reduce childhood blindness with the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

This training project - generously supported by our long-standing partner Standard Chartered Bank’s Seeing is Believing initiative - will focus on developing comprehensive pediatric eye care services across the country. In Ghana, a shocking 6,300 children are blind from preventable causes.

Ghana has only 1,117 eye care professionals (primarily in urban areas) for over 28 million people, with less than 90 ophthalmologists, 500 eye nurses, 320 optometrists and 200 opticians nationwide

Naturally this is where our 23 expert volunteers step in! Throughout the project, our wonderfully dedicated Volunteer Faculty will be sharing their top-notch technical knowledge with local eye teams and boosting surgical skills in pediatric strabismus, cataract, glaucoma, surgical and medical retina and oculoplastics.

We’re also delighted to have experts - who are set to deliver workshops in nursing, anesthesia and biomedical engineering - on board. And thanks to our Cybersight telemedicine platform, surgeries and lectures given by our Volunteer Faculty will be broadcast live to teams around the world.

[Slideshow: We've landed in Ghana]


In Ghana, improving visual impairment and blindness healthcare is a country-wide priority - with major hopes to achieve VISION 2020 goals by improving the quality of care available.

Organizations such as Ghana Health Services, the Ophthalmological Society of Ghana, Ghana Optometric Association, Nurses and Midwives council, and partnerships with major global NGOs are working together toward a better eye care system in the region.

In Ghana, around 6,300 children blind due to avoidable causes

A big thank you goes to our brilliant partners, committed volunteers and supporters for ensuring we could get this vital project off the ground and help build a lasting eye care legacy for the people of Ghana for generations to come.

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