Getting urgently needed vision care to kids like Erekik

Around the globe, children have been waiting for sight-saving care—but the pandemic has blocked eye teams from acquiring the skills they need to treat them. Now, our COVID Vision Recovery Fund is speeding efforts to train eye teams and get vision care to people worldwide.

For the last two years, the pandemic has made it impossible for Orbis to travel internationally to conduct in-person trainings for eye care teams. This means that some doctors and other eye care professionals haven’t been able to get the skills and training they need to treat kids at risk of blindness or with other serious vision impairments.

An Urgent Problem

For many pediatric conditions, the window to act closes quickly! That was the case for little Erekik, who was born with strabismus, a condition that caused her eyes to look in two different directions.

If her vision hadn’t been corrected quickly, Erekik’s brain might have learned to ignore the images seen by her weaker eye, leading to permanent vision loss.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case: Erekik received surgery by local doctors during an in-person Orbis training program in Ethiopia before the start of the pandemic.

Her sight was healed—thanks to the caring local doctors who performed her surgery and the Orbis Volunteer Faculty who traveled to Ethiopia with our Flying Eye Hospital to train those local staff.

But it’s these types of urgently needed programs that have been on hold since the pandemic began—and that’s why we are so excited to be able to conduct in-person trainings once more!

Make a generous donation now to our COVID Vision Recovery Fund. Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar to support in-person trainings and other programs that provide sight-saving care to kids like Erekik.

Training Eye Care Teams. Restoring Vision.

Around the world, doctors, nurses, and other eye care professionals urgently need training to be able to care for the vision of people in their own countries.

Orbis was formed to fill that need: to provide training and support in countries where it is needed the most. And we do so with the help of a global volunteer force of over 400 ophthalmologists, nurses, anesthesiologists, and biomedical engineers.

Over the last few years, our ongoing and on-demand virtual training programs have stepped up to fill the need during the height of the pandemic. But now, we’re thrilled to also be resuming our in-person training programs in local hospitals.

In fact, two members of Orbis’s Volunteer Faculty—Dr. Daniel Neely and Dr. Andrew Choyce—are traveling to Ethiopia right now to train doctors in a local hospital to treat strabismus, the same condition that afflicted Erekik.

Volunteer Faculty Dr. Daniel Neely training local partners during a Flying Eye Hospital project in Ethiopia

Long-time Volunteer Faculty pediatric surgeon Dr. Daniel Neely (Indiana University School of Medicine) during a training program in Ethiopia in 2018.

Donate Today

Double your impact + support our COVID Vision Recovery Fund.

The COVID Vision Recovery Fund supports Orbis's programs worldwide. Gifts will be matched up to $98,000.

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