Covid-19 response

March 2020

We wanted to take a moment to outline Orbis’s response to the current public health situation. As we’re sure you can imagine we've had to rethink some of our plans for 2020. Below is an outline of how things currently stand.

The Flying Eye Hospital has been grounded until the end of June. As the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, partners, and people we train and help are our #1 priority - we believe this is the right thing to do.

The Flying Eye Hospital may be temporarily grounded, but our mission is not. Through Cybersight, Orbis’s award-winning telemedicine platform, we continue our work to prevent and treat blindness in a safe, socially responsible way. We are investigating ways to expand our Cybersight activity as we expect a spike in the demand for remote learning and teleconsultation services.

Our in-country programs will operate within the limits of local COVID-19 restrictions, which vary by country and region. As always, we are working closely with our partners and local leaders to continually re-evaluate operations as the situation evolves.

We have temporarily closed our New York office; staff are working remotely. We anticipate some delays in mail processing during this time, and ask for your understanding.

Finally, as a global eye health organization we wish to stress the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation in preventing the spread of disease. These topics are routinely integrated into our training programs for local eye health teams, and community education on hygiene has been critical to our success in fighting blinding trachoma in Ethiopia. To reduce the spread of COVID-19, we encourage everyone to heed the advice of our partners at the World Health Organization and take basic protective measures against the virus.

Orbis stands in solidarity with our global health colleagues around the world. We applaud the frontline health workers who are operating around the clock. And we thank you, our friends and supporters, for your continued commitment to our mission.

For further information please sign-up to our newsletter.