Monday, May 8th, in Can Tho, Vietnam, Orbis International, with generous assistance from FedEx, inaugurated its first surgical programme since 2020 on board the Flying Eye Hospital, a fully accredited ophthalmic teaching hospital on board a plane. For three weeks, Orbis’ clinical staff and Volunteer Faculty (medical experts) provided in-person, hands-on training to 50 Can Tho region eye care professionals, including ophthalmologists, nurses, biomedical engineers, and anaesthesiologists, to help them treat the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment in their own communities.
This was the Flying Eye Hospital’s 12th training project in Vietnam, including one virtual project on Orbis’s telemedicine technology, Cybersight. Before the plane arrived in Vietnam, participants improved their skills through a combination of simulation and hands-on training, as well as customised virtual learning courses. Training was conducted aboard the Flying Eye Hospital, which was parked at Can Tho International Airport, as well as at two partner hospitals, Can Tho Maxillo Dental and Eye Hospital and Can Tho Children Hospital.
The first week of the initiative was devoted to simulation training, which allows participants to gain confidence in a controlled environment before proceeding to procedures. The final two weeks of the study were devoted to surgical procedures.
The first week of the initiative was devoted to simulation training, which allows participants to gain confidence in a controlled environment before proceeding to procedures. The final two weeks of the project were devoted to surgical training, during which participants gained hands-on, real-life experience alongside world-class professionals.
Surgical training centred on treating the primary causes of blindness and vision impairment in Vietnamese children and adults. Participants received training in paediatric cataracts, oculoplastics, and strabismus, as well as adult glaucoma and medical retina treatment. This project supplemented Orbis’ current programmes around the country and advanced Orbis Vietnam’s ultimate goal: to fill gaps and answer the requirements of local health staff while also contributing to the National Blindness Prevention Strategy, which was launched in 2010.”We are so grateful to FedEx for not only sponsoring this programme in Vietnam, but also for standing alongside us for more than 30 years in the fight against avoidable vision loss worldwide,” said Ngoc Pham, Country Director of Orbis Vietnam. “FedEx has been instrumental in assisting Orbis in achieving its mission, including the donation of the current MD-10 aircraft that serves as the third-generation Flying Eye Hospital.”
FedEx has contributed more than $22 million in donations and in-kind shipments to Orbis over the last three decades. FedEx maintained their commitment to Orbis’s sight-saving mission in 2021 with a $3.5 million donation to help offer financial, logistical, and operational support to the organisation and its partners.
“FedEx is proud to play a role in the global fight against avoidable blindness.” FedEx is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and has been positively touching lives and building a Better World by connecting people to greater possibilities. We are committed to use our resources and network to assist in addressing the social and economic needs of those in need in our local communities.” remarked Ee-Hui Tan, Managing Director of FedEx Express Vietnam and Cambodia.
Orbis is grateful for the support of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) and Can Tho International Airport. ACV generously offered a secure facility for the Flying Eye Hospital for the duration of the three-week experiment, which was important for safely treating patients and training eye care professionals.