On approaching the flying eye hospital, it looks like any of the other passenger jets on the runway waiting to take off to exotic destinations. But this DC-10 jet is exceptional – it houses the only airborne operating facility for eye treatment in the world. Its mission is to tackle avoidable sight loss in developing countries where 90% of the world’s 45 million blind people live.
The flying eye hospital, called Orbis, was the vision of one man, Dr David Paton, an eminent eye surgeon at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, US.
Since its first flight in 1982, Orbis has directly treated more than 9.7 million people for blindness-related diseases and conditions. Millions more have received the gift of sight as a result of the new skills that ORBIS volunteers have shared.
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Video from Orbis trip to Uganda: